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

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Unlimited" CD/LP/Track Review Unlimited
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "The Harry Warren Song Book" CD/LP/Track Review The Harry Warren Song Book
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Bring Joy" CD/LP/Track Review Bring Joy
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Eka" CD/LP/Track Review Eka
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Cluster Swerve" CD/LP/Track Review Cluster Swerve
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 4, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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