Many Axes: 2 Many Axes (2004)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Susan Rawcliffe, Scott Wilkinson and Brad Dutz fill a room with their many axes, arrange all the instruments on tables just so, and move freely from end to end, selecting the right sound-maker as each idea rushes into their combined frame of reference. The session is a flood of ideas, and these three veterans of the modern creative music scene make it work. Their music absorbs your thoughts and mesmerizes.
The water flutes of "Puddle" combine water sounds with percussive melodies. These aren't mere impressions: the artists create their scene with the genuine article. By blowing into bottles and animal horns, Rawcliffe and Wilkinson create spontaneous melodies while Dutz explores the world of percussion possibilities. The result is natural, primitive, and entirely fresh.
The threesome communicates with differing themes. "Roll Over Johann" features tabla and flutes in an East Asian adventure. Similarly, "Dali Comma" takes the trio's collective improvisation on a world tour with clay xylophone and lyrical pipes. "Unheard Melodies" combine the sound of the wind with other everyday sounds to accompany Wilkinson's euphonium soliloquy. To fit the occasion, however, his euphonium feature consists of aira lot of air. His use of bass recorder on "Buried There" follows a similar theme, as his delicate notes drone and moan.
The trio is at its best on "Mastodon Stew," where the clay didgeridoos (claydoos) are used to rumble out a deep-seated chant that would appear to have stemmed directly from a bridge to ancient cultures. Elsewhere, the program moves through traditional sounds from around the world, as Rawcliffe, Wilkinson and Dutz employ their vast array of acoustic musical instruments in adventurous motion. Recommended, 2 Many Axes provides a unique listening experience that is at once peaceful and adventurous.
Track Listing: March of the Whales; Circuspace; Pillbug's Nightmare; Drama Diary; Entropy; Roll Over Johann; Mastodon Stew; Unheard Melodies; Buried There; Dali Comma; Puddle; Popping Beetles; Anti Carlos.
Personnel: Susan Rawcliffe- ocarina, voice, polyglobular trumpet, harmonic whistle, tube flute, tuba flute, ball flute, waterflute, claydoo, hooded pipe, triple pipe, wind wands, howler; Scott Wilkinson- ocarina, euphonium, bass recorder, suling, shakuhachi, cedar flute, tuba flute, waterflute, Tibetan horns, Tibetan bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, quartz bowl; Brad Dutz- tabla, waterphone, clay xylophone, concertina, slit drums, spring drum, bass drum, gongs, pods, shells, superball on drums, bougaraboo, daff, makta, tarine, batajon, Tibetan singing bowls, brass bowls, clay bowls, claydoo, pin chimes, cup chimes, obsidian wind chimes, key chimes, bowed bell chimes, Indian bells, boat whistle, tuba flute, wind wands, bird squeakers, metal junk.
Style: Modern Jazz