Julliard graduate Paola Prestini and four other musicians move around one another on Body Maps with the gracious decorum and calm discipline of monks walking a prayer path. As a unit, they are perfectly weighed, highly cohesive while every now and again their routes through the music break off and become more individual.
All of the pieces are composed, yet they owe much of their character and substance to free-flowing, fleet-fingered, sometimes tumultuous improvisation, which switches off between being melodically and rhythmically complex. Works like "As Sleep Befell" and "Last Hymn" are thus lucid and mysterious in channeling basic tones and snaking flourishes into lengthy sonic rivers.
Adding a further dimension to the proceedings, a number of pieces employ a variety of rare sound sources. "Inngerutit", for one, uses snippets of a vocal raga within a shifting landscape marked by personalized digital textures and the fluttering, hollow sound of a clarinet, which provides ample structural tension. In "Nightsong", furthermore, the full five-octave range of Sam Solomon's marimba is utilized. Solomon's approach is virtuosic, but he's also capable of the tiniest timbral nuance, which places the work in a more romantic vein. This is indicative of the album on a whole, which consists of a linked succession of events that combine elements with immense ingenuity and fervor.
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