Angharad Davies / Tisha Mukarji: Endspace (2008)
The combination of Davies' violin and Mukarij's inside pianoboth entirely acoustic, but each with a range of preparationsqualifies as "chamber improv," but that term hardly does justice to the vibrancy of the music here.
The music is difficult to pigeonhole; although improvised, it goes beyond the normal borders of improv. Davies is comfortable producing sustained bowed patterns that give much of the music an underlying rhythmic feel, one that is enhanced by Mukarji's plucked punctuations. The latter are an object lesson in economy; Mukarji plays few notes and none of them is wasted, yet there is an irresistible logic to her playing. Above all else, the two players are highly compatible and communicate a shared understanding of what they wish to produce. The end results have a tranquility and beauty likely to appeal to listeners who would not normally consider improv.
The five pieces here have a combined playing time of under forty minutes. However, that is a strength more than a weakness. Their quality more than compensates for the quantity. Such is the sense of completeness provided by the pieces that any more would seem superfluous. This is one of those (rare) albums that when it finishes, one is hard pressed to think what to follow it with. More often than not, the solution is to simply play it again. And again.
A delight. We must hope that this duo records again soon.
Track Listing: Endspace I; Endspace II; Endspace III; Endspace IV; Endspace V.
Personnel: Angharad Davies: violin; Tisha Mukarji: inside piano.
Record Label: Another Timbre