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...


William Parker: Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist and composer William Parker is a tireless innovator whose entire oeuvre is filled with singular moments of brilliance and artistic exploration. However, Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics is his boldest and most unique work to date.

A variation on Richard Waters' waterphone, the aquasonic consists of tone rods and contains a small amount of water. When the rods are percussed or bowed, it produces an eerie, haunting sound. Drummer Jackson Krall custom-built Parker's own version of the instrument, and Parker first showcased it on his 2017 composition "Healing Songs From The Tone World."

On the current album, Parker brings together drummer Leonid Galaganov and visual artists Anne Humanfeld and Jeff Schlanger to interpret seven of his originals written for four aquasonics. The result is a moving and abstract series of soundscapes that provoke, stir and captivate.

The passionate "Purple Heartbeat" opens with thudding and hypnotic refrains. The tune alternates between restless angst-filled melody and angry, martial rhythms. The riotous interplay among the quartet members is simultaneously stimulating and disquieting.

This energetic ensemble-performance reaches its acme on "Helium Butterfly." Angular beats and mesmerizing drones lead to a gripping and stormy cacophony that retains an earthy tenderness. The mechanical flutters and resonating strikes flow in thunderous cascades. The darkly-hued tonal circles conclude on a somber note.

Elsewhere, the energetic and effervescent "Action" allows the group to explore the full range of the waterphone. The musicians meld their dissonant, divergent stream-of-consciousness solos into a colorfully multifaceted, dynamic and emotive piece that seems to morph endlessly.

The title track is perhaps the most spiritual on the recording. Contemplative and serene, the collective aquasonic chant is like a Zen prayer. The individual undulating monologues rise like incense smoke and curl around one another, creating musical shapes of ethereal dimensions. The brighter, more urgent overlapping lines form a siren song of sorts, like the lovelorn ponderings of a mythical creature.

Parker's imagination and creative vision reach a new height with this sui generis release. Although it may not be for everyone, Lake of Light is both an intellectual and a soulful delight, guaranteed to satisfy open-minded listeners.

Track Listing: Shifting Resonance; Purple Heartbeat; Helium Butterfly; Raindrops; Flexible Showers of Sound; Lake of Light; Action.

Personnel: William Parker: AquaSonic; Jeff Schlanger: AquaSonic; Anne Humanfeld: AquaSonic; Leonid Galaganov: AquaSonic.

Title: Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Gotta Let It Out


comments powered by Disqus

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
William Parker "No Joke"
Ridgewood, NY


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

Related Articles

Read Bulería Brooklyniana Album Reviews
Bulería Brooklyniana
By Dan Bilawsky
January 23, 2019
Read At The Hill Of James Magee Album Reviews
At The Hill Of James Magee
By Mark Corroto
January 23, 2019
Read Stomping Off From Greenwood Album Reviews
Stomping Off From Greenwood
By Mike Jurkovic
January 23, 2019
Read Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018 Album Reviews
Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018
By Roger Weisman
January 23, 2019
Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019