87

Charlotte Hug: Neuland (2001-2)

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Charlotte Hug: Neuland (2001-2) 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.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Emanem


Shop

More Articles

Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Oaktree CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Green With Envy CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Luma CD/LP/Track Review Luma
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 28, 2017
Read My Foolish Heart CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Everybody's Somebody's Nobody" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody's Somebody's Nobody
by John Sharpe
Published: May 27, 2016
Read "Enter the Plus Tet" CD/LP/Track Review Enter the Plus Tet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Ashé" CD/LP/Track Review Ashé
by James Nadal
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Schönbrunn" CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!