76

Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga: Stroke by Stroke

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga: Stroke by Stroke Zither player Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga's Stroke by Stroke is initially intriguing for the circumstances of its recording. As Lazaridou-Chatzigoga writes in her sleeve notes, "All the recordings were made at home in Athens between June 2010 and April 2011... Ambient noise from several parallel events taking place in Greece at the time of the recording has deliberately not been removed." As the period during which the recordings were made coincided with considerable unrest and disturbances on the streets of Athens, those sleeve notes raised expectations of substantial levels of external noise, which are largely unrealized. Instead, rather than the album's drama coming from external noises, it mainly comes from music itself, music which captures the zeitgeist of the time.

The album's 12-second opening track does feature the sound of traffic noise coming in from outside, immediately obliterated by plucked notes on the zither before a jump cut to the next track, which consists of sounds that might sound electronically generated, but for the sleeve note saying "no electronic effects, overdubbing or processing were used."

Those first two tracks set the pattern for an album of 21 tracks which vary in length from 12 seconds to nearly six minutes, the majority between one and two minutes long; there are no gaps between tracks and the jumps have no obvious rhyme or reason. The soundscape of each track remains constant for its entire duration, with change only arriving with the next track.

Taken together, the tracks form a constantly-shifting sound collage, with some of the transitions presenting surprising contrasts, as when the calm wooden rustlings of "Each and Every" give way to the insistent alarm-bell clamor of "Any and All," which in turn leads onto the plucked melodious passages of "Woody Woodpecker," the track that sounds most recognizably like a zither. By comparison, the majority of tracks feature harsher, more metallic tones that are not as easy on the ear and over time can make for wearying listening. Some albums contain music so concentrated that they are best taken in small doses rather than all at one sitting; despite its considerable merits, this is one such recording.

Tellingly, the most appealing tracks here are the two longest, and also the only two where Lazaridou-Chatzigoga is joined by a second player, Michalis Kyratsous. The introduction of a second voice allows for a sense of interplay and dialogue, while the longer duration gives the sounds long enough to become soothing and mesmeric.


Track Listing: Gorgoretta; Qualla; Wolf; Clinkers; Atonement; Intermittent; To Detach Oneself; Unicorn; Emergency; Each and Every; Any and All; Woody Woodpecker; Parasite; Insect; Operators; Torrent; Dorodango; Reattach Oneself; The Instance; Common Ground; Sleep Talk.

Personnel: Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga: zither, objects; Michalis Kyratsous: zither, objects (5, 17).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Organised music from Thessaloniki


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Siren Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Siren Songs
by James Nadal
Published: April 24, 2016
Read "Montréal" CD/LP/Track Review Montréal
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Stripped" CD/LP/Track Review Stripped
by James Nadal
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Tyrant Lizard" CD/LP/Track Review Tyrant Lizard
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Close Enough" CD/LP/Track Review Close Enough
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!