Atmospheric and haunting sounds from this most sublime of duos. A good time for a collaborative effort too as both artists have solo projects in the wings for next year.
Favorite track: Through the Plough the Steam Rises.
The first album by violin duo Laura Cannell & André Bosman.
RECKONINGS features 6 tracks that were recorded in single takes in the medieval church of St Andrew’s in Raveningham, Norfolk, UK. A small stone church at the edge of the marshes and reedbeds of East Anglia.
Echoes from Hildegard von Bingen’s 12th century monophonic songs mingle with re-animated and imagined voices of long sleeping Saxons. Calling and responding from opposite sides of the church the duo’s improvisations bring the secular back into the sacred space.
Taking a side step to delve into completely improvised music, Cannell is working with long term collaborator André Bosman for the first recorded outing of their improvising experimental violin duo. Their working method includes spontaneous composition and excursions to seldom visited rural buildings to capture their playing with no planning or shaping of the music beforehand, keeping the music vital and capturing the moment to give listeners the same experience in listening back as the performers. Never in the building for more than half an hour, Reckonings is made up of visits through the seasons with wind rattling, sun burning and snow melting.
Distortion grows from oscillating drones as strings are drawn and stretched, while the wind clatters and thuds on the ancient oak doors, trying to be part of the sound coming from within. Cannell & Bosman’s six improvisations explore two violins, two people, urgent and opposite with an arcane sense of togetherness. The sound of metal and gut-core strings invoked with horsehair bows dart within the white stone walls.
Cannell plays acoustic violin with occasional overbow and Bosman plays violin with a rebec bow and battery powered amplifier. Playing with extended techniques, distortion, feedback and space, they create a unified and untamed music of emotive otherness.
Exploratory British violinist Laura Cannell presents captivating duets with André Bosman, who previously produced her ‘Quick Sparrows Over The Black Earth’ album, on a gripping session recorded live inside the 13th century stone walls of Ravingham Church in Norfolk, UK
"BOOMKAT's Review of RECKONINGS
“In wood and marsh and stone we make our reckoning”
Dispatched on Laura’s Brawl Records, ‘Reckonings’ is another prime example of her singularly experimental take on a cross section of ideas absorbed from early medieval music, traditional folk and renaissance and contemporary styles. Coupled with Bosman, she’s clearly an adept collaborator, as her previous works with Mark Fell, Sandro Mussida, Aby Vuillamy, and Rhodri Davies have proven, but we’d take this album as the strongest example of her strengths in union.
Laura plays violin with overbow and baroque bow, while André handles violin with amplifier and Rebec bow. The results are fiercely dissonant in a classic folk sense, as the two operate closely but with differences emerging in their bowing and the extra layer of disruption added by Bosman’s amplifier, which lends a wickedly coruscating bite to proceedings.
It’s definitely not your usual, pretty, cliched neo-classical work at all. There’s a snarling fire to their sound that seems to fulminate in the air, with each player bearing their fangs in a way that’s not aggressive but does connote a sort of slow, considered violence to our ears that’s much more effective than outright aggression. It feels as though they are absorbing and transmuting hundreds of years of hellish imagery and pain from the church itself into these recordings, giving a voice to lost souls."
LIke tman1015, I am a little scared of this album. It is a deeply shocking and accurate musical portrayal of senile dementia -inasmuch as I've (sadly) observed members of friends and family become gradually subsumed by it.
Yet it is captivating, there are many moments of beauty along the way. I cannot stop going back for another listen.
I wonder if anyone (apart from the artist) has managed to listen all the way through in one sitting. I am not even close to managing yet. Simon Woolf