Multi-instrumentalist, Sylvia Hallett turns to the bicycle wheel as a means of musical expressionism on this recording also featuring the artist’s utilization of digital delays, voice improvisation, and violin. Ms. Hallett’s resume includes involvement with the “London Musicians Collective,” British free jazz pioneers, saxophonist Lol Coxhill, vocalist Phil Minton and others, yet here she pursues shifting and at times, haunting pastiches of sound via her unorthodox implementations. With “A Wheelwright Used To Live Here,” Ms. Hallett’s use of bowed bicycle wheel produces multidimensional ambient soundscapes atop fluctuating backwashes of digital EFX, as allusions to partaking in a séance might be in order.
On “Woman With Dustpan And Brush” and “White Fog,” Ms. Hallett’s hypnotic and altogether ethereal musings conjure up notions of a hazy dream resulting in melodramatic aftershocks amid her warm toned yet slightly foreboding inventions. However, there are passages that may imply the sounds of neurons or brain cells at work, whereas “The Onyx Rook” is a piece for violin and voice improvisation sans overdubs. Simply put, Ms. Hallett’s rather eccentric journey into previously unexplored terrain yields curiously interesting results, or as the producers amusingly indicate on the CD jewel case insert, this music should be filed as “unpigeonholeable.”
Personnel: Sylvia Hallett: bowed bicycle wheel, voice, digital delays, and violin