In the lengthy discussion between Burr (clarinet and synthesizer) and Pateras (piano, prepared piano) that's included with the disc, references are made to the work of La Monte Young, Alvin Lucier and Morton Feldman. The influence of latter two, at the least, are clearly heard throughout the seven lovely, probing pieces heard here.
One often thinks of the album's title in these contemplative, carefully paced tracks. Long held tones from the piano (prepared or otherwise) buttress even longer exhalations from the clarinets, generally in murkily tonal (and microtonal) areas. Sometimes, as on "Doesn't Show", the piano is used in a percussion-like manner, evoking Partchian bells, the clarinet offering melancholy asides that slip between the dull, lustrous ringing. The piano evokes Feldman, true, though less the late Feldman of "For Bunita Marcus" than, perhaps, the earlier work; on pieces like "Faded into the Light Mist", the references might be circa 1960 when Christian Wolff's influence was being felt. Which is not to say that Burr's and Pateras' music is derivative by any means — more like "evocative", in the sense that John Tilbury's playing, for example, is. While each track is strong, "To Crowd and Keep Off Balance" is exceptionally so, the dreamy, slow gamelan-like piano set next to the sourly melodic, mournful reed, as though the latter is sadly walking down a curving, hilly path, lost in rueful reverie.
A thoughtful, serious work, highly recommended not only for fans of Feldman, but of groups that straddle the divide between improvisation and contemporary composition, like Kai Fagaschinski and Michael Thieke's The International Nothing.
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