Astral Spirits

In a recent interview, Jessica Pavone stated that she programs her artistic life in relatively short segments, avoiding to set goals beyond a couple of months or so. This rational approach establishes a correct frame of mind for the efficient finalization of projects while ensuring increased freedom notwithstanding the deadlines.

This combination of common sense and inventiveness is reflected in Lost And Found, a fairly concise cycle of compositions performed by two violas (Pavone and Abby Swidler) and two violins (Erica Dicker and Angela Morris). Expliciting the composer’s interest in the fluctuation between rhythmic articulation and absence of metrics, this appears as an experiment in which neither rigor nor prescience are missing.

The interplay evidences degrees of tonality and microtonal suspensions, the latter particularly accentuated where the score requires the use of glissando techniques. In such regard, “Nice And Easy” is an unpretentious jewel. In general, Pavone hints at a harmonically evolved minimalism informed by resonant clusters and dignified movements. However, she also employs cleverly uncomplicated melodic lines, drawn within the contrapuntal structures to balance the stasis generated elsewhere. Even if a real stasis, in fact, does not exist.

Ultimately, time stops and elapses quickly at once as one deepens the acquaintance with this album. The music expresses a feeling of “indefinite under control”; it takes several spins before acknowledging its admirable sobriety in full. Everything is in line with the lack of protagonism conveyed by Pavone’s attitude, today as yesterday. Her work offers food for thought while gratifying the ears, in opposition to the incessant appearances of media-friendly “names” whose omnipresence is inversely proportional to the actual quality of what they try to shove down our throats.

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