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Two contrasting releases from Charlotte Hug on the Fundacja Słuchaj! label

Read "Two contrasting releases from Charlotte Hug on the Fundacja Słuchaj! label" reviewed by John Eyles

For many followers of improvised music, their first experience of Switzerland's Charlotte Hug was around the turn of the millennium, as a viola player, an instrument on which she was classically trained. In collaborations such as the all-female trio with Maggie Nicols and Caroline Kraabel, or the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO), she soon gained a reputation as a striking performer who was not shy of deploying innovative or experimental playing techniques. Gradually, the picture of Hug was filled ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlotte Hug & Frederic Blondy: Bouquet

Read "Bouquet" reviewed by John Eyles

This meeting of French pianist Frédric Blondy and Switzerland's Charlotte Hug on viola and voice was studio-recorded in March 2008 in Paris. Performing as a duo since 2005, Hug and Blondy continue to do so. The album sleeve bears a phrase that is increasingly seen in recent years: “No overdubbing or electronic modification was used." In other words, everything on the album was played by the two musicians in real time. However, the aural evidence may lead some to doubt ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlotte Hug: Slipway to Galaxies

Read "Slipway to Galaxies" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

There has always been something special about a performance by Charlotte Hug. Her revolutionary playing celebrated in the unique “soft-bowing" technique has turned the shrill glissandi of the viola into hues of deep, indulgent warmth. As her passion for the human interaction with her instrument developed, she began to meld her unique vocalistics, as well as her “Son-Icons" into her artful reinvention of the viola and her music. Although nothing about her work may ever be described as typical, Slipway ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlotte Hug: Slipway to Galaxies

Read "Slipway to Galaxies" reviewed by John Eyles

On parts of her last Emanem release, Fine Extensions (2010)--a duo with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm--in addition to playing her customary viola Charlotte Hug also used her voice. She sang in a quasi-operatic style as well as vocalizing, to produce eerie, other-worldly sounds, her voice combining with and complementing the strings to good effect. Now, on Slipway to Galaxies, Hug uses her voice for the first time on a solo recording. Recorded at the studio of Swiss radio DRS, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlotte Hug / Fred Lonberg-Holm: Fine Extensions

Read "Fine Extensions" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Viola and cello have coexisted in splendid harmony on the concert stage for hundreds of years, both instruments bolstering powerful orchestral settings for every composer, even before Haydn, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven employed violin and cello in compositions with vivid effect. What delights the inner ear, however, especially on the brazen Fine Extensions, is the fact that these instruments transcend all earlier sonic relationships between the strings. Locked in the embrace of a tonal adventure, jousting with one another, egging ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlotte Hug: Neuland (2001-2)

Read "Neuland (2001-2)" reviewed by John Eyles

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 ...


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