8

Anne Vanschothorst: EK IS EIK

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Anne Vanschothorst: EK IS EIK Dutch harpist Anne Vanschothorst is pretty clear about her omnivorous attitude toward composition. Her interest is using the harp to provide texture as well and harmony and melody to her compositions. She excels as a solo performer and one in concert with other instruments, for example, her opening composition "Where's Mo?" is a tacit duet with trumpeter Saskia Laroo, who plays muted and closely miked (not unlike Miles Davis to whom she is compared). The two produce a moody scene where Laroo's muted brass perfumes Vanschothorst's air conditioned-cool underpinnings with a mixture of unfiltered cigarette smoke and lavender.

The harp makes for an interesting anchor. In a jazz neighborhood, it is like a strange combination of vibraphone, guitar and piano. As such, it easily replaces the piano as the harmony instrument in the carefully considered duets inhabiting this collection. Ek is Eik (I am Oak) is structured approximating an imperfect palindrome based on format. The disc opens and closes with Laroo's trumpet, the coda, "And the Willow Tree Smiled" taking a hard left from the impressionistic muted improvisation to a minimalistic open- bell performance of delicacy and beauty.

Continuing inward are two solo pieces by Vanschothorst, "Wandering" and "The Caged Owl," The former possessing the anxiety and grace of Schumann while the latter is Lisztian by way of John Cage, dissonant and disconcerting. Perhaps Vanschothorst's most successful pairing (and most inspired) with gambaist Ernst Stolz, whose viola da gamba approximates a tightly-focused cello. The title piece is a gossamer conversation that sometimes meets and other times passes itself. "Raven's Departure" again opts for a touch of minimalism in the harp figures with Stolz full throated throughout. "Let Her Go" is a plaintively laid landscape with both harp and viola da gamba resonating together.

There is a stunning soundtrack quality to Vanschothorst's music, but that should be no surprise as she has been called upon to provide such to the visual arts. The fun and gift of this music is the imagination of what life scene this music would accompany and enhance. Something like "Songs Without Words" but rather "Scenes Without Stories." It is up to the listener to complete the experience.

Track Listing: Where’s Mo?; Wandering; EK is EIK; When We Were Trees; Here Once Stood Elms; Let Her Go; I Know My Way; Strange Bird; Raven’s Departure; The Caged Owl; And the Willow Tree Smiled.

Personnel: Anne Vanschothorst: harp; Saskia Laroo: trumpet; Ernst Stolz: viola da gamba; Arthur Bont: durms and percussion; Bob van Luijt: bass.

Title: EK IS EIK | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Big Round Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Music Box Music" CD/LP/Track Review Music Box Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Life and Other Transient Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Life and Other Transient Storms
by John Sharpe
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Live: SFJAZZ Center 2016 - Music of Miles Davis & Original Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Live: SFJAZZ Center 2016 - Music of Miles Davis &...
by John Kelman
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "Soul Garden" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by John Sharpe
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.