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).

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


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Mind Behind Closed Eyes" CD/LP/Track Review Mind Behind Closed Eyes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction" CD/LP/Track Review Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "In Praise of Shadows" CD/LP/Track Review In Praise of Shadows
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Matador 4" CD/LP/Track Review Matador 4
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Original Demos" CD/LP/Track Review Original Demos
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Upbeat And Sweet" CD/LP/Track Review Upbeat And Sweet
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 13, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.