It took six years to complete Half A True Day, and Biota's sixth album rings like a continuous piece that is subdivided into reference points or placeholders. Nonetheless, the large ensemble's singular permutations of prog-rock and dream-laden swashes of layered textures are glowingly iterated here. It's an acoustic-electric brew featuring the use of unorthodox instrumentation, where the band incorporates Moog synths, strings, accordion, horns and other tools of the trade into a multifaceted feast for the mind's eye.
The program consists of subliminal deviations and passages that might intimate a shrouded dream that is offset with piercing rays of light. With rumbling rhythmic frameworks and fractured themes that intersect the variable parameters, the band's music-making summon notions of an expanding and contracting balloon. However, where many others would most assuredly fail in these instances, this unit owns the patent.
On "Proven Within Half Half a True Day, the sounds and mode of execution conjure up notions of murky waters and a sense of submersion, mingled with hazy voices. Their cunning sound-sculpting artistry and unorthodox compositional underpinnings indicates a lucid and rather scrambled sense of escapism that confounds the psyche. It's largely about imagery and sensation, which of course connotes a staple of the ensemble's design parameters. And they merge a sense of antiquity via the acoustic and, at times, folksy ingredient with interlacing effects and ethnocentric implications of various flavors and tones. It's a musical entity like no other.
Track Listing: Figure Question; Pack-and-Penny Day; Hidden Compartment; Angle of Doubt; Proven; Within Half Half a True Day; Accidental Photograph; Winding Nth; Moth Across; Silent Grove; Just Now Maybe; Another Name; Turn the Moon; Globemallow, Left Untold; Cloud Chamber; Where No One Knows; Antimagnet; Passerine.
Personnel: Kristianne Gale: voice; Tom Katsimpalis: guitars, Clavioline; Gordon Whitlow: accordion; Steve Scholbe: rubab; Mark Piersel: guitar; William Sharp: electronics, mix; Randy Yeates: keyboards; David Zekman: violin, mandolin; Charles O'Meara: piano; Randy Miotke: Fender Rhodes, editing; James Gardne: flugelhorn; Andy Kredt: guitar; Rold Goranson: electronics, voice; Steve Emmons: electronics; Larry Wilson: percussion.
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.