Pianist Ketil Bjornstad and cellist David Darling have been collaborating for quite awhile, namely within the group, “The Sea” yet their duet performances on the 1996 CD, The River
offered listeners an enticing array of intersecting themes, sublime melodies and astute yet altogether thought-provoking interplay! With their latest effort, Epigraphs
Darling and Bjornstad continue to produce somber, harmonious and imbued passages amid the often austere dialogue and introspective musings.
Essentially, the music presented here tends to mirror the now infamous - “ECM” aura which generally consists of enhanced reverb, some echo and sonic characteristics that could suggest or instill the listener with a distinct sense of inner sanctification or bliss. The piece titled “Song For TKJD”, might easily serve as the soundtrack for some sort of serious-minded documentary film as Darling caresses his cello along with Bjornstad’s pensive overtones and dainty accents. Here and throughout, the musicians often pursue brief statements and gradually shifting crosscurrents in chamber-esque fashion, while the overall tone and impetus represents a potpourri of pastoral motifs, vivid soundscapes and comforting sentiments. And along with the shadowy colors and cavernous implications, Bjornstad and Darling unveil their respective souls as they perform these rhapsodic pieces with quiet fire and endearing persuasion.
* * * ½ (out of * * * * *)
Visit the “ECM Records” website at: www.ecmrecords.com