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Wednesday, December 28, 2022

gabby fluke-mogul & Joanna Mattrey - Oracle (Relative Pitch Records, 2022)

By Keith Prosk

gabby fluke-mogul and Joanna Mattrey play eight fantasias for violin, viola, and stroh violin on the 41’ Oracle.

fluke-mogul and Mattrey previously appeared together on the releases Death In the Gilded Age with Matteo Liberatore and Ava Mendoza and Live in Accord with Fred Lonberg-Holm but Oracle is their first duo release. And for me it has been an enthusiastically anticipated duo release since first listening to threshold , discovering both performers were in NYC and already working together, and having already been so struck by Veiled .

The pairing probably feels comfortable surficially from the noisy textures that have come to characterize the approach of each and those are definitely here. In something like the nasal Doppler shift of a fly buzzing about a cloud around your ear. The dampened repetitive action more mechanical than musical. The fury, the frenzy of ungreased corroded metal on metal. The Saran wrap serenades. The pull, prod, pluck, and flick of strings that then sing, whine, sigh, and moan. But the tensions these textures carry also threads through cross-cutting structural relationships, romantic swings in speed and volume and movement, the protean viscousness of their time that turns fast fiddling into long tones and back again, a sneaking desublimation of a half-remembered melody from the noise or a subtle shift from dissonance to warm accord. With them the boundaries of sound parameters are folded upon themselves and in shear and at these liminal locations they play their rituals as reflected through the titles and in converging the future and the present that knows the past they emerge with something new.


Richard said...

One of my favorites of 2022, it came in at #12 on my year-end list. I'm happy to see it get attention here. There's something like a mini-genre arising of solo and duo violin and/or viola albums that are at the intersection of contemporary classical and improvised music.

The solo albums of these two artists have all been excellent. Another great example is Open Improvisations by Marina Kifferstein, which contains solo and duo music.