3

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh/Garth Knox: All Soundings Are True

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh/Garth Knox: All Soundings Are True
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.

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read End Of Summer
End Of Summer
Espen Eriksen Trio
Read Facing Duality
Facing Duality
Maria Baptist and Jan von Klewitz
Read Stateless
Stateless
Tashi Dorji

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.