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Marina Hasselberg — Red
(Redshift , 2022, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2023-01-30

Red Cover art

On Red, cellist Marina Hasselberg explores a variety of ways to present her instrument in a modern context, from Baroque composition augmented by improvised electronics to contemporary solo works to improvisations for cello and other instruments. These improvisations are free-wheeling and not idiomatic of any tradition. She starts out the set with a piece by Domenico Gabrielli (1650s-1690) on which she is accompanied by electronic artist Giorgio Magnanensi, who provides various noises of a non-musical nature. Some of the improvisations feature as many as three musicians, but most involve only Hasselbring and one other. Her collaborators, aside from Magnanensi, are Aram Bajakian (guitar), Kenton Loewen (drums), and Jesse Zubot (violin), and at no time is the result anything like a jam session in jazz or rock. For the most part, conventional playing is avoided to concentrate more on pure sound and contrasting timbres. But this is a case where scraping strings and thumps of unknown origin are presented in a way that is not harsh or unpleasant. The usual definition of musical beauty may not apply, but there is often a kind of meditative exploration to the sounds that produces a kind of beauty. This is music for sonic adventurers who are willing to go beyond the realm of normality into the undiscovered country of spontaneously generated sound.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Marina Hasselberg

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