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Many Axes: 2 Many Axes

Jim Santella By

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Susan Rawcliffe, Scott Wilkinson and Brad Dutz fill a room with their many axes, arrange all the instruments on tables just so, and move freely from end to end, selecting the right sound-maker as each idea rushes into their combined frame of reference. The session is a flood of ideas, and these three veterans of the modern creative music scene make it work. Their music absorbs your thoughts and mesmerizes.

The water flutes of "Puddle" combine water sounds with percussive melodies. These aren't mere impressions: the artists create their scene with the genuine article. By blowing into bottles and animal horns, Rawcliffe and Wilkinson create spontaneous melodies while Dutz explores the world of percussion possibilities. The result is natural, primitive, and entirely fresh.

The threesome communicates with differing themes. "Roll Over Johann" features tabla and flutes in an East Asian adventure. Similarly, "Dali Comma" takes the trio's collective improvisation on a world tour with clay xylophone and lyrical pipes. "Unheard Melodies" combine the sound of the wind with other everyday sounds to accompany Wilkinson's euphonium soliloquy. To fit the occasion, however, his euphonium feature consists of air—a lot of air. His use of bass recorder on "Buried There" follows a similar theme, as his delicate notes drone and moan.

The trio is at its best on "Mastodon Stew," where the clay didgeridoos (claydoos) are used to rumble out a deep-seated chant that would appear to have stemmed directly from a bridge to ancient cultures. Elsewhere, the program moves through traditional sounds from around the world, as Rawcliffe, Wilkinson and Dutz employ their vast array of acoustic musical instruments in adventurous motion. Recommended, 2 Many Axes provides a unique listening experience that is at once peaceful and adventurous.


Track Listing: March Of The Whales, Circuspace, Pillbug's Nightmare, Drama Dairy, Entropy, Roll Over Johann, Mastodon Stew, Unheard Melodies, Buried There, Dali Comma, Puddle, Popping Beetles, Anto Carlos.

Personnel: Susan Rawcliffe - Ceramic Flutes, Ocarinas, Whistles, Polyglobular Trumpets, Dideridus, Shells, Jawharps; Scott Wilkinson - Ceramic Winds, Tibetian Horn, Ethic Flutes, Bells & Bowls, Shells, Recorders; Brad Dutz - Udu, Bodhran, Berimbau, Tablas, Bendir Sabar, Doumbeck, Shakers, Balaphone, Bones, Gongs, Clay Bowls.

Title: 2 Many Axes | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Not On Label (Many Axes Self-released)

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