CLIVE BELL & SYLVIA HALLETT – The Geographers

(Emanem)

Droplets of hallucinogen reiterations take fantasies by the hand, cold-shouldering any possible machination designed to keep emotions at bay; instruments from ancient cultures as well as cheap department stores are played without scumbling their edges, in a gradual departure from pure sound artistry to the inspection of remote cavities, in search of those small discarded treasures that – appearances be damned – are giant steps for the refinement of the act of listening. While Hallett’s haunting ceremonials sound like they were born after a blow on a magic powder causing twilight fever and deceptive fancies, her mastery of bowed instruments and perfectly disposed looping traps is what this wonderful music needs to be promoted to the top rank of improvisatory sensitiveness. Bell could not be a better companion for this highly reminiscent connection of memories and instinct, as the imprinting he puts on all the duets is decisive, given his thorough command of shakuhachi, pi saw, khene and the likes: it’s a perfect 50-50 concoction of gracefully balanced miniature dreams that every once in a while make a proposal for recanalizing fear and anguish into a single course of placid joy.

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