3

Samo Salamon & The Slovene Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra: Free Strings: Orchestrology

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Slovenian guitarist Samo Šalamon has to be one of the most versatile and restlessly explorative musicians active today. His 2013 collaboration with The Slovene Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra, Free Strings: Orchestrology sheds light on his superb compositional skills as he leads the ensemble in interpreting thirteen of his originals. An overall cinematic atmosphere permeates the record with each individual track containing a cohesive narrative that ranges from the expansive to the intimate.

The dramatic "Dutilleux" opens with the sweeping strings alternating with Šalamon and drummer Roberto Dani's tense vamps. The resulting expectant mood ushers Šalamon's thick haunting chords, peppered with a delightfully subtle dissonance. His improvised lines coalesce into a passionate sonic swell that floods the tune with clever intrigue.

Dani's thrilling percussion is at the center of "Number of Circles." Around his thudding beats and gallops the ensemble lays down complex and hypnotic overlapping con arco and pizzicato patterns.

Elsewhere, Šalamon's angular spontaneity enhances the mystical sense of "Kei's Secret." The orchestra hesitantly glides along the main theme in a lilting, darkly hued melody.

In contrast, the symphonically intense "Meia Culpa" opens with mellifluous, floating violins over Dani and Šalamon's earthy rumble. The upper register instruments' silkier tone complements the richer more vivid sound of cellos and bass. The resulting intriguing ambience ends abruptly in silence that Dani's sparse beats punctuate. Out of the quiet Šalamon's lyrical strumming leads the group in an uplifting and lavish chant.

Equally theatrical is the solemn "Three Stories." The way Šalamon arranges cymbals, chordophones and hushed pauses evokes a baroque feel. Half way through violinist Janez Podlesek's romantic and melodic solo enters buoyed by Šalamon's resonant guitar and Dani's elegant and reserved brushes. Dani ushers in the main motif as the sublime piece concludes on a peaceful note.

Every new direction that Šalamon takes results in equally outstanding and exquisitely splendid music. This album is no exception. It is simultaneously innovative and charmingly accessible. In brief it satisfies both the mind and the soul.

Track Listing: Hebe; Seagulls in Maine; Three Stories; Dutilleux; White Herons on Green Meadows; Miss Sarcasm; Rhapsody; Moonless; Number of Circles; Fall Memories; Mea Culpa; Kei's Secret; Devil's Darling.

Personnel: Samo Salamon: guitar; Roberto Dani: drums; Janez Podlesek: solo violin; Vera Belic: first violin; Monika Ivancev: first violin; Matic Anzej: first violin; Oliver Dizdarevic Skrabar: second violin; Ziga Cerar: second violin; Rado Steharnik: second violin; Bojan Erjavec: second violin; Maja Rome: viola; Maja Babnik Ravnikar: viola; Tomaz Malej: viola; Igor Skerjanec: cello; Klemen Hvala: cello; Petar Brcarevic: double bass.

Title: Free Strings: Orchestrology | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Kgosf

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Nantucket

Nantucket

Samo Salamon
Little River

Ice Storm

Ice Storm

Samo Salamon
Stretching Out

Ducks On Ice

Ducks On Ice

Samo Salamon
Eleven Stories

Blistering

Blistering

Samo Salamon
Duality

Lastovo

Lastovo

Samo Salamon
Almost Almond

Miss Sarcasm

Miss Sarcasm

Samo Salamon
Live!

Radio
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Free Sessions, Vol. 2: Freequestra

Free Sessions, Vol....

Klopotec Records
2019

buy
Swirling Blind Unstilled

Swirling Blind...

Klopotec Records
2019

buy
Traveling Moving Breathing

Traveling Moving...

Clean Feed Records
2018

buy
Pure Magic

Pure Magic

Alessa Records Jazz & Art
2018

buy
Peaks of Light

Peaks of Light

Samo Records
2018

buy
Planets of Kei

Planets of Kei

Not Two Records
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read First Nature Album Reviews
First Nature
By Troy Dostert
July 19, 2019
Read Terra Incognita Album Reviews
Terra Incognita
By Dan McClenaghan
July 19, 2019
Read Sacred Kind of Love: The Columbia Recordings Album Reviews
Sacred Kind of Love: The Columbia Recordings
By Jakob Baekgaard
July 19, 2019
Read Perhaps Album Reviews
Perhaps
By Don Phipps
July 19, 2019
Read New York Trio Album Reviews
New York Trio
By Troy Dostert
July 18, 2019
Read Invincible Nimbus Album Reviews
Invincible Nimbus
By Jerome Wilson
July 18, 2019
Read Syzygy Album Reviews
Syzygy
By Don Phipps
July 18, 2019