6

Robert Black: Possessed

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Double bassist Robert Black (a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars) became fascinated by the desert landscape around Moab, Utah after an invitation to play at a music festival there. He improvised this entire site-specific environmental duet "on location" over the course of three days in August, 2013. The project was documented with video and photography: the full package includes a surround-sound DVD, CD, and a visual art companion book.

The opening track "Hunter Canyon: Dawn" Part 1 immediately establishes the setting: bird and insect sounds precede Black's entrance, on bass played arco. Part 2 is a percussive interlude, the sound of the bass's body echoing in the natural canyon reverberation chamber. Part 3 returns to arco playing with a melodic, pastoral feeling. This kind of contrast is typical of the rest of the program: most of the tracks are in the two to three minute range, and each has a distinct identity.

"Pritchard Culvert: Morning" Part 1 features a hypnotic rhythmic ostinato, while Part 2 contrasts high bowed sounds with very low sounds. "Day Canyon: Afternoon" Part 1 is a busy, skittering pizzicato exercise. "Dragonfly Culvert: Evening" Part 1 has short arco phrases with natural reverberation, like a call and response between two instruments. "Hunter Canyon: Night" Part 1 has an especially melodic theme, with insect accompaniment. The closing Part 4 includes the same insects, but with a calm pizzicato bass part.

Even without the visuals there is a strong sense of place in this music. Black could have recreated the acoustic spaces in a studio and dubbed in insect and bird sounds, I suppose. But there's no denying the inspiration driving these improvisations.

Track Listing

Hunter Canyon: Dawn Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Pritchard Culvert: Morning Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Day Canyon: Afternoon Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Dragonfly Culvert: Evening Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Hunter Canyon: Night Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Personnel

Robert Black: double bass

Album information

Title: Possessed | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Cantaloupe Music

Watch

Tags

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.


MUSICSTACK

Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers

AMAZON

CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more

HD TRACKS

Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads

CD UNIVERSE

Specializing in music, movies and video games

REVERB

Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

More

Read GMQ
GMQ
Geoff Mason
Read For Now
For Now
Brian Landrus
Read Welcome Adventure Vol. 1
Welcome Adventure Vol. 1
Daniel Carter, Matthew Shipp. William Parker, Gerald Cleaver