Friday, November 22, 2019

Robert Dick, Joelle Leandre, Miya Masaoka, Solar Wind

There is a world where each musical instrument has a set routine, a set body of technique that could be codified in the form of a book. That is not so relevant where the music of Robert Dick, Joelle Leandre and Miya Masaoka are concerned, especially on their album Solar Wind (Not Two MW986-2).

On the contrary, it is not codification so much as recognition of a freedom and the inventiveness to create a sound world that is a product of three independent imaginations that work together for surprise juxtapositions more than leader-follower hierarchies.

Each is a master of her or his instrument, Robert Dick of the flute family, Joelle Leandre of the contrabass, Miya Masaoka of the koto. And the working out of that mastery for this album decidedly does not lie in initiation and imitation so much as the fashioning of parallel sound universes created and then sustained, to form unique and distinctive wholes.

And so they do throughout with some 12 freely composed improvisations. High invention is the order of the day, a Zen of sound creation that is neither directly obvious nor willfully arcane. It is a natural world, closer to an untamed forest tract than a closely clipped and cultivated garden? I do not know if the analogy works, since some sound universes here sound somewhat trimmed and cultivated, some wildly open and untamed or untrammeled.

So we hear mood-memory poetics in sequences, where all three create a confluence out of disparity--a bowed graininess, a scraping of strings and aerated launches of air all conflated and combined into one moment in time.

And in the end one might set about codifying this musical series of gestures, but the artists would be on to the next project, the next gathering of musical souls no doubt, and the results would need re-codifying as we are in the right now. Thankfully we are in that. So listen to now. Be where these three are right now.

Highly recommended.

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