With the digital-only EP, Veil Waltz (Brassland, 2010), neoclassicist quartet Clogs announced that it was back in action after a lengthy hiatus. But that brief collection, largely written for film, was really only a taste-whetter for The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton, Clogs' first full-length CD since Lantern (Brassland, 2006). Like Veil Waltz, Lantern presaged what was to come, but there's as much unexpected as there is familiar on The Creatures, Clogs' most ambitious project to date.
Words like ambitious" often suggest bolder, sweeping music, and while a larger cast of characters augmenting Clogs' ...read more
It's been four years since last hearing from Clogs, the quirky neoclassical quartet founded by Padma Newsome. This is the longest gap in the group's decade-long history, largely predicated when the Australian violinist/violist decides to come in from the Outback to reconvene with guitarist Bryce Dessner, bassoonist Rachael Elliott and percussionist Thomas Kozumplik, Americans all. The good news is that this inveterate group--often lumped in with groups like Rachel's and Bell Orchestre, with whom Clogs performed during its last tour in 2005, and for whom such comparisons are superficial, at best--is not only releasing its first full-length CD in March, ...read more
Take the music of Steve Reich, Moondog, Guillaume de Machaut, Bell Orchestre, Sigur Ros, Penguin Café Orchestra, Eric Satie, Godspeed You Black Emperor and the Rachel's and toss it all into a blender. Purée well.Now you've got something that, well, really sounds nothing like Clogs, the remarkable new-music quartet made up of Padma Newsome (viola/violin/melodica/piano/voice), Bryce Dessner (guitar/ukulele), Rachael Elliott (bassoon/melodica) and Thomas Kozumplik (percussion). The four Clogs met in the late nineties as students of the Yale School of Music and have produced four CDs so far, all on the Brassland label: Thom's Night Out (2001), Lullaby ...read more
With each successive release, Clogs move further away from the neoclassicism of Thom's Night Out (Brassland, 2001) towards a unique blend of contemporary chamber music, indigenous folk music, trance-like minimalism and idiosyncratic song structure. But Lantern represents a number of firsts for the group.
Previous albums including Lullaby for Sue (Brassland, 2003) and Stick Music (Brassland, 2004) were largely composed by violinist/violist Padma Newsome; with the exception of two tracks, Lantern is composed and developed by Clogs." Clogs have always been collaborative in nature, but Lantern takes that to a new level. It's difficult to know how much of the ...read more
Bell Orchestre / Clogs / Snailhouse Theatre Plaza, Montreal, Quebec November 10, 2005
It may have been the day that the first hints of snow were in the sky, but the atmosphere was warm and cosy at Montreal's Theatre Plaza on November 10, 2005, where Montreal-based Snailhouse and Bell Orchestre were teamed with more-or-less American-based Clogs for an evening that managed to stymie preconceptions--even for those who knew the music and background of any/all of these three intrepid groups.
Theatre Plaza is a 1920s-era movie theatre that's been lovingly converted into a live concert ...read more
Sound is spiritual. The sound of a single, unaltered string quivering against the force of a finger can be religious. With its third album, Stick Music, the Australian-American group Clogs devotes itself to the exploration of strings. With band members Bryce Dessner on guitar and prepared guitar and Padma Newsome on violin, viola, vocals and prepared guitar joined by violinist Jennifer Choi, cellist Erik Friedlander and percussionist Tim Feeney, the group creates the musical equivalent of a flower blooming in fast forward with the help of time-lapse photography.Weighing speed, pressure, force, and the contrasts between bowing, striking, and ...read more
With bassoonist Rachael Elliott and percussionist Thomas Kozumplik on temporary hiatus, Clogs pares down to a duo, leaving guitarist Bryce Dessner and violinist/violist Padma Newsome as the driving force behind its new release, Stick Music. While violinist Jennifer Choi, cellist Erik Friedlander and percussionist Tim Feeney add worthwhile guest appearances, Stick Music is really about the interaction and musical friendship that Dessner and Newsome share, one that has been evolving in leaps and bounds since Clogs' first recording, '01's Thom's Night Out.
A celebration of all things string, Stick Music furthers the unique musical language that has earmarked Clogs' music ...read more
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