Erik Griswold and Camerata — Hollows out of Time
(Harrigans Lane Collective HCL1, 2019, LP / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-08-06
The story behind this album starts with the Harrigans Lane Collective, a creative space for explorative artistic interdisciplinary projects in rural Australia with a focus on architecture, music, arts, design, and environment. HLC directors Bruce and Jocelyn Wolfe have created a natural, forested property on a south-eastern escarpment of the Granite Belt, and it has become the center of the collective's creative pursuits. In addition to engaging artistically with the place through photographing, painting, and using the timbers and stone to build, it has been the home of musical projects and performances. The Piano Mill (the studio building on the site) symbolizes this and remains a core activity at the collective, endeavors which due to their creative and experimental nature can find little space in the commercial world. Hollows out of Time by Erik Griswold and Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra string quartet, is the debut release of the new Harrigans Lane Collective record label. A few years ago we reviewed Griswold’s earlier album Ecstatic Descent on the Cold Blue label, though he has a number of releases before that. Much like that earlier release, Griswold’s performance here on Hollows out of Time is entirely on prepared piano, though instead of one single album-length track that evolves slowly as it goes, here Griswold has composed eleven distinct tracks that convey a variety of moods, the percussive nature of the prepared piano here thends to be more rhythmic than the random nature of that earlier release, and the string quartet adds additional layers of powerful melodic presence. Still, I am often reminded of gamelan percussive elements infused with the interesting aspects of stringed instruments weaving melodies within the fabric of the compositions, it’s really like nothing else out there one might have heard before, borne out clearly on tracks like “Water Dripping into Stone,” “Rock Pools,” and the lively closer “Aguas do Tempo.” On one track, “Drifting Clouds,” the piano seems less ‘prepared’ than on others, and for much of the piece the strings weave in and out gracefully over the piano and make the composition unique among all the others. Overall th eleven compositions here are experimental, but gentle on the ears, creating a whole fresh soundworld unlike any other.
Related artist(s): Erik Griswold
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