How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Pav is Zlatko Kaucic's solo percussion homage to a close friend and fellow countryman, Zmago Sfiligoj. Kaucic celebrates his creative power and intensity, which filled a short forty-year life.
The image and symbology of the peacock pervade the album. Besides being featured on the cover, Chevalier and Gheerbrandt are quoted in their "Dictionary of Symbols" as saying that the peacock is a symbol in esoteric tradition of a wholeness that is made up of many small partsand as fleeting as the peacock's unfurling of its tail.
In a similar way, Kaucic states that he used many different objects and materials, including a children's zither, many different toys, banana-tree leaves and pots and pans, to create sounds that are woven together to make a new whole, which appears out of the sound's interaction and then disappears, like the peacock's tail.
On the back of the cardboard case are the words "NO OVERDUBBING," which, when kept in mind, only add to the sense of mystery and amazement which grows as the album progresses (as on "Home Land").
As a listening experience, Pav can be overwhelming if you just let it happen. Solo instrument recitals, particularly single-line instruments, can be daunting listens, especially solo percussion. Here, however, while there are many different sounds, rhythmic patterns and pitches, the end result is much more than a percussion display, and without doubt this music arises from a deep emotional space.
Melodies appear occasionally, as on the very touching "Solitude," but mostly we are in the realm of musical sounds set to different rhythms; Kaucic mixes different types of percussive sounds, as well as pitches, quite expertly. Each track has a palpable dramatic arch, almost like a story or a series of imagined images, and the surprise is how moving each track, and the album as a whole, can become as they progress.
While Pav can hardly be called "accessible" music as it is most commonly understood, the musical sounds, with or without rhythmic support, and the silences together create a strong emotional impact. Each subsequent listen will bring forth fresh responses as Kaucic, a master percussionist, pays homage to a friend and artistic colleague who died much too young and affected everyone around him. Recommended.