PHIL MINTON / OKKYUNG LEE – Anicca

Dancing Wayang

In Phil Minton’s mind-boggling “singing”, humankind is represented in all of its components, ages and sexes. The innocence of a baby uttering the first syllables and testing the voice in those typical oscillating micro-mantras amidst the surrounding racket. The manifestation of despair accompanying a woman’s sorrow for the loss of a son. The insurmountable strain of frustration, depicted via throaty harmonics and implausible twists of the vocal cords. The gaseous and liquid matters that surround our existence, coming out of the mouth through grimaces that would make someone else’s head burst in a thousand fragments.

Okkyung Lee’s work is extraordinarily sympathetic, counterbalancing Minton’s capricious evolutions with a cross of unruffled solemnity and guileless opposition to the establishment of a “mood”. Depending on the circumstance, she contrasts or encourages her partner, a now-jumpy-now-contemplative arco as the generator of a peculiar kind of refined oppressiveness one moment and a thoroughly enlightened, if often discordant luminosity the next. Biting timbres and command of the improvisational logic appear to be foremost reasons for the nearly perfect adjustment of the cello to a voiced microcosm that – for obvious physical characteristics – might sound more “expandable” to an untrained listener.

Anicca – a limited edition vinyl album – is a firm statement against the mitigation of intuitive urge. It is also a display of the possibilities of dialogue between dissimilar beings meeting on a point where a clever reaction to the unplanned turns latent obstacles into admirable signs of confidence.

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