Exposé Online banner

Nicholas Chase — Bhajan
(Cold Blue CB0046, 2013/2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-02-22

Bhajan Cover art

Composer Nicholas Chase has a number of releases to his credit, but this is the first time we have reviewed any of his works at Exposé — perhaps all of those six previous-releases offer something as innovative as what’s on offer here. Bhajan is an extended four movement composition for electric violin (played by Robin Lorentz) and computer and electronics (played by Chase) that clocks in just shy of 47 minutes. In the opening movement “Bindu,” electronic sounds skitter and swirl around the electric violin which is essentially playing variations on a single note over its entire eleven minute duration, with all sound occasionally dropping to silence before the interplay of ideas returns. The electronic sounds seem to stretch the sound like elastic in numerous directions while the violin remains the static force. “Drshti” is the next movement, again with the violin expressing variations on a single note (but a different one than the previous movement), while the computer captures those live violin strokes and plays them back in processed form, sometimes at various compimentary pitches creating a melody line, and other times just a few cycles off from the original, creating a beating effect. The third movement, “Japa,” features the electronics alternating with violin in creating an other-worldly exchange of melodic ideas, and much like the first movement uses a fair amount of silent spaces to punctuate the proceedings. The closing movement is “Bhajan,” and in a way similar to the second movement, the violin’s notes (a few different ones) are captured by computer and ghosted back at different pitches, offering subtleties in articulation, dynamics and timbre combining together to produce the end result. Overall, Bhajan as a complete work is fairly captivating and interesting, though in parts it sometimes drags on a bit.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases, 2013 recordings

Related artist(s): Nicholas Chase

Latest news

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gregg Bendian - Jeff Gauthier - Steuart Liebig - G.E. Stinson - Bone Structure – Superstar improv jams can be inspired by many attributes including astute listening, profound musicianship and abandoned release. Varying doses of each of these ingredients is found in these twelve...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues