Thursday, February 4, 2010
Minamo Blurs the Distinction Between Composition and Improvisation
Minamo teams violinist Carla Kihlstedt with pianist Satoko Fujii. These are world-class musicians, accomplished instrumentalists, composers, improvisers. The two-CD release Kuroi Kawa~Black River (Tzadik) provides a birds-eye aural view of the duo live and in the studio.
You will hear wildly creative improvisations for violin and prepared piano, for example, as well as rather carefully crafted compositions of expressively wrought sound worlds. The duo makes a musically cogent argument in favor of the increasingly reasonable proposition that today's "serious" music need not draw sharp dividing lines between improvisation and composition. On one level this is rather obvious and not really a new idea. On another level there is new found currency in the working out of a viable synthesis between "New Music" coming out of the concert-classical camp and "Improvisation" that has evolved from the avant jazz arena. Of course the two stylistic approaches have much in common and their combination can generate fruitful creative results. That is dramatically shown on the disk at hand.
Kuroi Kawa provides the listener with a very interesting and listenable recital of modern chamber music. It is both a musically stimulating experience and a tribute to the formidable musical minds of Carla Kihlstedt and Satoko Fujii.