A most unusual and inviting disc: Gilbert Isbin plays guitar (classical and prepared), and Geert Verbeke plays a variety of percussion instruments. Together they make meditative, refreshing, and inviting music that often tends toward East Asian models both in sound quality and in sonic depth.
There's a great variety to the sound. On "Secrets," for example, they seem to be able to achieve the shimmering sound of a synthesizer with acoustic effects alone: the beautiful natural resonance of bells, underlined by a string effect that's almost vocal. The opener, "Amphora," tends toward the world of the raga, while other tracks like "Saskia Maya" draw on the percussive sonorities of other, lesser known cultures. "Threat" plays off guitar scribbles that convey the sense of foreboding without ever breaking the musical texture. Nor is a grim visage required: the brief closing "Koko," for example, is wild and playful.
This disc should not be missed by anyone who appreciates the sound of genuine and non-clichéd acoustic guitar, expertly supported by an imaginative percussionist.
Gilbert Isbin, classical and prepared guitar; Geert Verbeke, perc, prepared piano.
Track listing: Amphora / Royal Tune / Saskia Maya / Secrets / Nazca / Wide / Threat / Embrace / Jonas & the Fish / Open Day / Apple / Loop / Tingsha's / Child / Koko.