Kevin Kastning / Carl Clements — Nowhere, Now Here
(Greydisc GDR 3515, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-07-24Here we have something different. Not rock, not jazz, not really anything that can easily be categorized, perhaps something that might find a home somewhere between the ECM or Cold Blue labels. There are fourteen pastoral meandering compositions for 16 and 17 string contraguitar, 30 string contra-soprano guitar, tenor and soprano sax, and alto flute. One might suspect that improvisation was the genesis of these compositions, but refinement and clarification have driven them to a state of idyllic perfection. There is plenty of variety in the combinations of instrumentation, but there are never more than two players at any time (no overdubs), and no percussion, so this is chamber music in a sense, in its purest form but beholden to no genre, certainly not classical, although one can hear the trace elements of many things from one measure to the next as each composition unfolds and reveals itself. Gentle, dreamy, dulcet, captivating, and explorative – just a few descriptives that are applicable here. There is very little repetition, so these pieces are always evolving and changing as they go along, moving forward and never repeating. Probably for this reason more than any, the listener can immerse themselves completely in this while it’s playing, but retain little after the experience other than a memory of something curiously beautiful, but with few details.
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