Magazine article Gramophone

Denyer: Riverine Delusions

Magazine article Gramophone

Denyer: Riverine Delusions

Article excerpt

Denyer

Riverine Delusions (a). Two Voices with Axe (b). Whispers (c). A Woman Singing (d). Woman with Jinashi Shakuhachi (e) Frank Denyer (bc) voc/(c) Ainsts (bd) Juliet Fraser voc (b) Jos Zwaanenburg fl (b) Benjamin Gilmore vn (b) cElisabeth Smalt va (b) Dario Calderone (db) (b) Pepe Garcia Rodriguez perc (b) Bob Gilmore axe (e) Kiku Day shakuhachi/voc/perc (b) Jamie Man cond (3) The Barton Workshop Another Timbre (C) AT82 (66' * DDD)

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Until reaching the climactic summit of Riverine Delusions where bass drum thwacks overpower the remainder of the ensemble--this album featuring recent work by the British composer Frank Denyer barely registers a mezzo-piano. The opening two pieces, Whispers and Woman with Jinashi Shakuhachi, both creep around a vocal twilight zone: music vanishing inside the shadows. Denyer's own voice carries Whispers (2010) as Elisabeth Smalt plays offstage muted violin--a conventional violin approach twice removed. What this music might be 'about', what it could symbolise or depict, remains largely a mystery. Denyer whimpers, splutters, semi-whistles. The attitude is anti-bel canto, his utterances encased by silence and by obsessive minuscule scrapings on ancillary percussion instruments. …

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