76

Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga: Stroke by Stroke

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
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).

Title: Stroke by Stroke | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Organised music from Thessaloniki


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Small Town" CD/LP/Track Review Small Town
by John Kelman
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Fun with Notes" CD/LP/Track Review Fun with Notes
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Hauptbahnhof" CD/LP/Track Review Hauptbahnhof
by Anthony Shaw
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Fusion Machine" CD/LP/Track Review Fusion Machine
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Sermon Organ Combo" CD/LP/Track Review Sermon Organ Combo
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor