All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

87

Charlotte Hug: Neuland (2001-2)

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
In a relatively short time in London, Swiss violist Charlotte Hug (pronounced Hoog) made a big impression through her work at All Angels, with Tony Wren's Quatuor Accorde, at the Freedom of the City festival with Maggie Nichols & Caroline Kraabel and with the London Improvisers' Orchestra.

She is somewhat renowned for performing in unusual venues. These have included ice caverns of the Rhone Glacier, and an acoustically insulated S&M torture chamber. Hug herself is a dramatic performer, strikingly beautiful, with flowing blonde locks. That in itself can be a problem, as a recording alone can fail to convey the essence of a performance. (I felt that was true of Transitions, Hug's live trio recording with Nichols and Kraabel.) Neuland, though, is a studio recording of Hug's solo viola and certainly does avoid that potential pitfall; the music here is full of drama and needs nothing to enhance or complement the experience. It consists of three tracks, one of which, "House of Detention," is subdivided into ten parts. The opening track "Delirium" features the technique developed by Hug called "wetbowing"—literally moistening the hairs of her bow. The resulting sounds can be far more brutal than one would expect, but there are also very poignant, moving periods. Hug is certainly not seeking to build or sustain a consistent mood; this is rapidly changing music containing great contrasts.

In the past, Hug has experimented with electronics in her compositions and, although all the music here was produced acoustically, several passages seem to bear the influence of that, with the recorded sound of the viola easily being mistakable for synthesised sound.

"House of Detention" is at the heart of the album, consisting of ten relatively short connected pieces. It is named after a dank, supposedly-haunted former underground Victorian prison in Clerkenwell, which Hug used as a retreat while in London. It manages to convey an atmosphere of unease and menace entirely consistent with its title.

Track Listing: Delirium; House of Detention:- Wet, Dweller, Quarry, Dwell On, Wood, Dwellers, Flow, Rotation, Pulsation, Signs; No Land.

Personnel: Charlotte Hug, viola.

Title: Neuland (2001-2) | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Emanem

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Piano Works CD/LP/Track Review
Piano Works
by John Sharpe
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Throw Tomatoes CD/LP/Track Review
Throw Tomatoes
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Reflections 2 CD/LP/Track Review
Reflections 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Heartscape" CD/LP/Track Review Heartscape
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: October 8, 2017
Read "Christmas With Champian" CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read "Dreaming Big" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming Big
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Blueberry Ash" CD/LP/Track Review Blueberry Ash
by Barry O'Sullivan
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Celebrating William Parker at 65" CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017