All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh/Garth Knox: All Soundings Are True

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Unlike notated music, where one wrongly sounded note can jar terribly, improvised music obeys no stringent laws. It can jar but it's never wrong. Indeed, the concept of what constitutes music—our appreciation or tolerance for some sounds but not others—is frequently challenged by improvisers, for whom all sounds are valid. Fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (This Is How We Fly, The Gloaming) and violist Garth Knox (the Arditti Quartet, Ensemble InterContemporain, Saltarello Trio), have long applied such a free-spirited philosophy to traditional and contemporary music. All Soundings Are True, however, marks the first time that their strings have intertwined.

Ó Raghallaigh's ten-string hardanger d'amore—somewhere between a fiddle and viola—and Knox's viola d'amore are largely indistinguishable here as they navigate minimalist, often abstract terrain. Harmony and melody are not in short supply, but as on "Sundhelm," follow an undulating course punctuated by sawing rhythms, edgy keening and pizzicato play. The somewhat ghostly melody of "Fluctus" floats on a current of quietly rhythmic urgency, the stark contrast between meditative and insistent accentuated by the tune's minimalism; the tension between airy lyricism and unpredictable edge here is evocative of Ó Raghallaigh's solo outing Music For An Elliptical Orbit (Diatribe Records, 2014).

There's greater experimentation in deconstructions of traditional tunes "Tasseography" and "Albanach" with their post-production sci-fi noodling, while the ballad "County Down," played as a delightfully slow air, has a more organic feel. Ó Raghallaigh and Knox converge to greatest effect where the music's course is unknown, as with the pizzicato sparks and restless strumming of "Blindsight," the zither-like sonorities of the abstract journey that is "Tsumba," the brooding lullaby "Minutus" and the quasi-psychedelic "Ramé," where fiddler and violist create swirling eddies of overlapping sound to close a fascinating recording on a fittingly genre-defying note.

All Soundings Are True is perhaps best appreciated in its forty-two-minute entirety, as it's only with uninterrupted listening that the contours of the duo's dialog fully reveal themselves. With this quietly provocative collaboration Ó Raghallaigh and Knox reveal the symmetry between lyricism and dissonance, concrete form and wispy impressionism, tradition and modernity. Subtly beguiling.

Track Listing: Sundhelm; Fluctus; Tasseography; Blindsight; Tsumba; County Down; Minutus; Albanach; Ramé.

Personnel: Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh: hardanger d’amore; Garth Knox: viola d’amore.

Title: All Soundings Are True | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Diatribe Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by John Kelman
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Selective Coverage CD/LP/Track Review
Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!" CD/LP/Track Review A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 25, 2017
Read "On Air" CD/LP/Track Review On Air
by Doug Collette
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Jazz for All (Jazz Forró)" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz for All (Jazz Forró)
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 15, 2018
Read "What’s to Come" CD/LP/Track Review What’s to Come
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 28, 2018
Read "No Fast Food" CD/LP/Track Review No Fast Food
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 6, 2018
Read "Article XI" CD/LP/Track Review Article XI
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 5, 2018