Jon Heilbron - Puma Court [Another Timbre - 2019]Puma Court is a two-piece suite for two double basses, and two Hardanger fiddles. It’s a wonderful seesawing example of modern composition that moves between pared-back, felt & at times rising harmonic emotion, Grinding & dramatically soured brood, and moments of tense near silence. The release appears on the always reliable Another Timbre- and the CD is presented in the labels normal sparse & minimal gatefold packaging.
The 2018 two-part piece was written by Australian composer and double bass player Jon Heilbron; & he also plays on the piece along with Håkon Thelin on Double bass, and Helga Myhr & Rasmus Kjorstad both on Hardanger fiddles. The first part runs nearing the thirty-minute mark, and the second around twenty minutes with a total runtime of fifty minutes for the whole CD.
Both tracks have a wonderful vacillate quality- as the four players aptly slide, swift and at times grind against each other. We move from extremely thick 'n' deep brooding-ness, which hovers with vulture like neck swoops & wails. Onto rising almost harmonic ambient simmers that move with touches of growing hope & wonder, through to slurred angular shifts & ebbs- which feel neither hopeful or damned- falling somewhere between indifference & mild displeasure. At moments things thin back to just darting, almost rhythmic & eerier neck play, or slow dying grates of tone. With both of the pieces having a good feeling of unpredictability and flowing compositions.
Puma Court is both eventful and emotional varied work- highlighting the four players effective sonic chemistry, and Heibron flare as an unpredictable-yet moody composer- I’ll certainly be curious to hear more work from him- and this is another great release on Another Timbre, who really do continue to put out some of the best and creative modern composition around.Roger Batty