Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Eva-Maria Houben - Together On The Way [Another Timbre - 2022]

Together on the way is a single sixty-seven-minute work that's all about glum tension and grim unease. The works for pipe organ, piano, percussion- and over its lengthy runtime the work keeps you locked inside its taunt-yet-bleak grips.

The release appears as a CD on Sheffield based Another Timbre- which focuses on releasing the most rewarding & creative with both the modern classical and modern composition genres. The disc comes presented in the label’s sparse white mini gatefold packaging, and on its front cover, we have a picture of a pole constructed from dead plants, junk, and a steel pipe- this is set against a backdrop of either uninformed snow or body of water. 

Eva-Maria Houben is a German composer, organist, and pannist- she is also a musicologist and university lecturer. She has been both composing and performing work for thirty years now, as well as being a member of the respected Wandelweiser Group. And going from the piece on offer here, her work is all about creating a tense soundscape, that is stark- yet involving with its darting and often fraught textural detail.

Playing work here we have Evan-Marie on Pipe Organ, Siwan Rhys on Piano, and George Barton on Percussion. The piece is presented here as a single sixty-seven-minute track- so this and the taut yet eventful flow of the track means this is very much a work that has to be heard in a single setting. It was recorded at St Paul’s Hall, at the University of Huddersfield late last year- and as with many of Another Timbre's releases was captured by the label's owner Simon Reynell- who spent much of his life as a BBC sound recordist- so there is wonderful depth and clarity to the recording.

The piece has a fairly circular quality to it, so technically you could play it on a loop. Yes, there is a structure to the whole thing, at points, we do get subtle developments/ moments occurring. But largely it has a very floating and stark quality, with the only real constant being a wavering sustained organ note. Around this, the three-piece places grim flirts of piano, be it doomy hits, or high darts. Brooding-to-slicing percussion detail, or sudden organ note moves. The tension throughout really is tangible, and this is certainly not a piece you could drift off in- due to of course the constant simmering taut-ness, and sparse darting, at points jarring flow of elements.

Together on the way is very much a work for a quiet room, and a mind ready for a long dwell in taut and angular glumness. Certainly, a great example of sonic reserve, and controlled playing- and I’d imagine when this was performed live, there would have been a very tangible air of both apprehension and tense unease.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
Latest Reviews

Eva-Maria Houben - Together On T...
Together on the way is a single sixty-seven-minute work that's all about glum tension and grim unease. The works for pipe organ, piano, percussion- and over ...
250622   Onoda: 10,000 Nights in the J...
250622   Occlusion - 56(21 Juin)
240622   The Edge of Sanity - The Edge...
240622   Aliens, Clowns & Geeks - Alie...
240622   Monopoly of Child Star Search...
230622   Fonsadera - Macabre Damp
230622   Thromdarr - Midwinter Frost -...
230622   Aural Hypnox - Transcendental...
220622   Vampyr - Vampyr (Blu Ray)
210622   Sado Rituals - Kali Yuga
Latest Articles

The Worse Album In The World Ever...
One of the more entertaining, yet still informed and critically balanced music review series on YouTube at present is The Worse Album In The World Ever. Star...
200622   The Worse Album In The World ...
240522   Noir On Powerhouse Films - Fr...
260422   Schloss Tegal - Back To The ...
230322   The Residents - Fifty Years ...
170222   Dave Phillips - The Humanimal...
270122   Glemt - Dark and Deranged Spi...
211221   Best Of 2021 - Music, Sound &...
211221   Koobaatoo Asparagus - Califor...
011221   Anti-Worlds Releasing - Cinem...
261021   Himukalt - Tense & unwell psy...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom