Root Strata

Forty minutes of gorgeous, literally luscious drones, an Indian raga connecting Tony Conrad with Stephen Scott. The ears detect sitars and tambouras but in reality all you hear is a sextet armed with bowed guitars tuned in just intonation. The participants, besides composer Pitre, are Craig Colorusso, Gene Park, Brooke Gillespie, Steve Flato and Lauren Cecil. The relatively static harmonies and the “comfortably unusual” resonance deriving from the peculiar tunings of the instruments make sure that this is an experience that you’ll want to repeat often. Imaginary designs and perceived upper partials mix marvellously, generating long stretches of extremely welcome mental relief accompanying a thorough stimulation of the auricular mechanisms. The tones melt in the inner kaleidoscope, the consciousness expands. It sounds very hippy, yet that’s exactly what happens. In certain occasions the lower drones seem to prevail – definitively affirming their power in the final movement – while elsewhere a listener may be happier following the wakes generated by the strings in the higher registers. It goes on like that throughout the record except for rare moments of quietness, an exercise in the detection of colour in pitch and an utterly gratifying listen that doesn’t need a surplus of technical analysis. Let your brain enjoy the positive effects of the vibrational recharge offered by this stringed choir, occasionally sounding as a veritable mass of huge hurdy-gurdies.

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