Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Guy Klucevsek, Teetering on the Verge of Normalcy

Don't believe it when composer-accordionist Guy Klucevsek titles his new album Teetering on the Verge of Normalcy (Starkland 225). This is music that is nicely accessible but nonetheless extraordinary and delightfully subversive of categories. This album showcases especially the compositional side of Klucevsek, though there is marvelous accordion playing, too.

Violin down-townist Todd Reynolds is a beautiful presence on a fair amount of this, but then there are other contributors too, and all sound just right for the parts they handle.

Guy gives us a terrific mix of folk- and folk-dance-influenced pieces, but then there is a new music-new tonality side too, with a bit of jazz feeling surely. It is the vertical mix of influence in each work and the horizontal trajectory of the entire program that is a wonder to apprehend. Everything tends to stay in your head. The more you listen, the more the pieces seem like old friends you are visiting with again.

The impetus for the album is partly elegiac, remembering good people now gone from us, but it is celebratory of their lives perhaps more than a strictly mourning sort of thing. Heartfelt, certainly.

I will not try to tack on influence labels for each piece. It is something you must listen to to appreciate, after all. And the way Guy puts it together is a model of how personal musical lifeways can be put into play for something very contemporary and original yet rooted and earthy.

Normal? Only if a beautifully arranged and constructed patch quilt of the classic sort is in any way ordinary. If it is, it is HOW it all fits, but that is not usual but extraordinary, especially in music.

This is music that makes of diversity a happy thing, a creative and vital living thing.

Don't miss this. Thanks, Guy! Encore!

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