How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Colombian, Strasbourg-based viola player and vocal artist Elisa Arciniegas Pinilla studied classical music and viola at the Conservatorio de Música de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogota and jazz and improvised music at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg in France. She also specialized in performance and free improvisation at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel, Switzerland (one of her teachers there was Fred Frith
. This wide spectrum of approaches enable Pinilla to create a musical universe that transcends borders, genres or conventions.
The music on her debut albumafter a yet-to-be-released collaboration with Chilean composer Javier Muñoz Bravo dedicated to Colombian poetess Maria Mercedez Carranza and playing in a yet-to-record contemporary chamber and outfitis totally improvised. The spirit of each improvisation is affected by the learning and listening process of Pinilla and her collaborators, or her private, sonic journey exploring energy, freedom, imagination and camaraderie.
The duos with viola player Mina Fred and oboe player Olga Marulanda, as well as her solo viola, stretch the timbral boundaries of the viola, exploring sub-harmonics and overtones through an array of extended bowing techniques. Pinilla's highly expressive solos, and her solo for voice alone, sound like enigmatic stories recited in an eccentric language. The duet with pianist Jean René Mourot
is the most playful song. The warm, expressive vocal and light piano touches sound like lovers courting each other on a high tightrope. The last improvisation, a duo featuring voice, viola and guitar, with Pinilla's mentor Fred Frith is the most radical track. An arresting, searching travel after soundsshaping these sounds, communicating intuitively to create highly seductive images which suggest a highly unique and personal universe.
A challenging and beautiful exploration of sounds and sonic energy.
Track Listing: Duo with Mina Fred; Solo Viola & Voice, Pt. 1; Duo with Sam Dühsle; Solo
Voice; Duo with Olga Marulanda; Solo Viola & Voice, Pt. 2; Duo with
Jean-René Mourot; Solo Viola; Duo with Fred Frith.
Personnel: Elisa Arciniegas Pinilla: alto; viola; Mina Fred: viola (1); Fred Frith:
guitar (9); Samuel Dühsler: drums (3); Olga Marulanda: oboe (5); Jean-
René Mourot: piano (7).