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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Jane in Ether - Jane in Ether (Confront Recordings, 2021) ****

By Keith Prosk

Miako Klein, Magda Mayas, and Biliana Voutchkova craft five textural environments for recorders, piano, and violin & voice on the 45’ Jane in Ether.

The speed of play is agile but spacing is generous enough to evoke a sense of mild activity in turns tender and tensive, sometimes locking into repetitive yet responsive cadences or sequences that might be recognized as rhythm at scales they aren’t necessarily heard as such. Dynamically they play near the threshold of sounding and silence. And beyond communicating through space and volume they shift textures together, emitting adventurous flavor combinations by way of numerous extended techniques. The grain of breath against bore in recorders’ air notes with barely-there or below-the-bridge wheezing from violin and plunking keys muted from inside the piano. Flute pops and bouncing bow and the circus organ refractory harmonics rendered from piano wire. A hooting recorders’ beating patterns’ peaks accentuated with string swells. Recorders’ tropical birdsong with violin’s woody groaning with piano’s twinkling chiming. Scraped strings sounding their corrugations and the shrill yell of their seemingly metal-on-metal shredding amongst the sonorous warbling of recorder.