By Paul Acquaro
This is a bit unusual, it is a review of a recording that is still being made. Saxophonist Catherine Sikora has undertaken an ambitious project to record a solo piece every day for the month of December and add to Winter Solos, available in its evolving form from Bandcamp.
The first track, 'Winter Solos #1,' is by far the longest track (so far) at 16+ minutes. It is a contemplative piece that unfolds slowly and deliberately. Close your eyes and just listen, soon you are drawn into the contours of subconscious thought and melodic intuition behind the sounds. Halfway into the piece, the pace picks up and the intervals get a bit wider, skip to the end and the notes have begun to fray and the melody comes to an end that immediately segues into track 2, 'these are the clouds'. The pieces that follow are much shorter, approximately three minutes each, and each one has its own characteristics. Track 2 continued with the searching melody of the first, while track 3, 'Solo #3,' hangs in the higher register with quick, biting, and tightly wound runs. As of writing, Winter Solos is up to track 20, which is a more up-tempo piece, but still underscored with a bit of longing to its sound.
Listening to Sikora's strong, round tone she explores the winter days (or nights? I know not when she recorded these) is an enjoyable, meditative experience. Now, open your eyes and check out the lovely images of winter landscapes that accompanies each song.