Magazine article Gramophone

LC Smith: Cantilena

Magazine article Gramophone

LC Smith: Cantilena

Article excerpt

LC Smith

Cantilena (a). Drifter (b). Far From Shore (c). Folkestone (d). Galanthus (e). Gondola (d). Moi qui tremblais (f). Piano Quintet [G]. Poire (h). Ricercar (i) (cef) Mira Benjamin vn (a) Emma Richards va (ci) Anton Lukoszevieze vc (bcfgh) Philip Thomas pf (b) Diego Castro Magas gtr Simon Limbrick (a) vibraphone/(f) perc (dg) Bozzini Quartet Another Timbre (M) (2) AT105x2 (144' * DDD)

Linda Catlin Smith (b1957) operates out of bustling urban Toronto, although her work puts you in mind of remote no-man's-lands, places where music would normally fear to tread. This two-CD album of selected chamber and instrumental compositions opens with Cantilena, a 2013 duo for viola (Emma Richards) and vibraphone (Simon Limbrick) that acts as a telling entry point into Smith's instantly alluring although cryptic sound world. Personally, the plugged-in, motorised whir of the vibraphone feels instinctively urban; I'm hearing Steve Reich and the Modern Jazz Quartet's Milt Jackson. But Smith lets gut(sy) strings and metal bars that clink like ice in a fizzy drink coexist in a magical way, the poker-faced vibraphone tiptoeing around the viola's guttural double-stopped intervals--she notes that the range of both instruments is almost identical.

Structurally, echoes of a verse-and-chorus form emerge, although points of demarcation feel endlessly flexible--qualities shared by her 2014 Piano Quintet and the conspicuously bold Drifter for piano (Philip Thomas) and guitar (Diego Castro Magas) from 2009. …

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