Bondi,Martel,&Schiller - Hyazo [Another Timbre - 2020]Hyazo presents us with three eleven-to-twenty minute works for spinet, harmonium, viola da gamba, pitch pipes & harmonica. The sound here is somewhere between wondering & bleak improv, grim modern composition, and darting-to-brooding drone matter. This is another CD release from UK label Another Timbre- who always mine the best in modern composition- with the disc presented in the labels house style minimal white mini gatefold, which takes in a very tone fitting picture of a blurred & hazed sunset picture of a waterway which is overlooked by a huge dark landmass.
The players here Cyril Bondi- on Indian harmonium, pitch pipes, & harmonica. Pierre-Yves Martel- on Viola Da Gamba, pitch pipes, & harmonica. Christopher Schiller - Spinet & Preparations. The first two pieces are composed Schiller, and the last by Bondi- each of the compositions falls somewhere between improv and composed, and each is fairly eventful-yet-often grimly lulling in their unfolds.
First we the spot on seventeen minutes of “Palestrina”- here we find the slow interlocking & shifting of gloomy-purring pipes, slurred-yet- elegant sting picks, and simmering twangs- with moments rising to fairly high register, but instead of grating they rather add to slow slumbering sad wonder of the whole thing. Next, we have “Cartes n03”- this is the shortest track here at just over the eleven minutes & twenty seconds mark. It begins with a mixture of just one drone purring, sprightly-yet-discordant string jumps, and slurred & uncertainly neck sawing. As the track moves on it goes between moments of silence & break, and droning-to-simmering tone hovers that are shifted & darted by string slices & sudden picks.
Lastly, we have “Hyazo”- this is the longest track here at near twenty-one & a half, minutes. It starts with tense-to- brooding mid-to-high pitch drone slices, and eerier trails of darting string picks. As we move into the track the drones/ simmers become less pressing & tense, taking on a slight glumly melodic feel- the string picks & dart also take on slight harmonic vibe. But fairly soon more hovering grimness starts to enter the sound picture, as we get a deep sustain saws & brood occurring within the sparse & spaced soundscape. Around the 8th minute mark, we get moments of dark playfulness- as we find a repeated neck strum, but this doesn’t last long before we return to the more abstract, spaced & bleakly drifting & hovering feeling.
Hyazo is the third time this trio has recorded work for Another Timbre, and once again they prove great collaborators playing off each other well to create lulling-yet compelling sound work that nicely sits between subtle pressing intensity, bleak melody, and angular darting wonder. As always to pick this up, and check out more of this great label output head here