Magazine article Gramophone

Makan

Magazine article Gramophone

Makan

Article excerpt

Makan

Letting Time Circle Through Us

Either/Or

New World (F) 80791-2 (47' * DDD)

Keeril Makan's Letting Time Circle Through Us (2013) is a sextet in one large, euphonious, unbroken span. Written for the Either/Or ensemble with whom Makan (b1972) has worked over many years, their understanding of his music is manifest throughout what sounds like a definitive interpretation. The core of the ensemble is a piano trio, through which the varied sonorities of a cimbalom, guitar and assorted, mostly chiming, percussion are threaded. At points, the cimbalom, guitar (at various times played with fingers, a pick and a bow) and piano concoct a sound like a 3D honky-tonk piano, and I wonder whether the work would render equally well on two pianos (or one, fourhanded), violin and cello.

The opening fades in artificially one really cannot hear the violin's initial down-bow--and slowly the other instruments are introduced. The structure is essentially an expanded, varied rondo (the booklet cites ABACADA) with elements of a passacaglia built from two core ideas: the initial static drone and its developments, often anchored on the opening A, repeated like a ground bass throughout the work representing stability; and what Makan describes as 'singular novel musical events . …

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