Patti Cudd — Eos
(Innova 967, 2017, 3CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-06-04
Far from the song-based world of rock and pop, far from the emotion, melodies, and counterpoint of clasical and chamber music, is the soundworld of Patti Cudd, where tapping, scraping, striking, and scratching are the keys to what makes her musical visions come to life. A percussionist of many flavors, the music presented here (three full discs worth!) represents her interpretation of the compositions of others. Pieces by Cort Lippe, Barry Moon, and Paul Elwood show up on almost every disc of this set, with a fair number of other composers epresented, the origin of every piece discussed in exhaustive detail in the accompanying eight-fold, 22 pieces in all. These are all explorative and uniquely inventive marvels of sound – we’re not talking drum kit solos (nothing against them but three discs of that would get fairly tiring) but compositions that utilize every imaginable sound that might be produced by any number of percussive means. Though piano (technically a hybrid of strings and percussion) won’t be found here, numerous other tuned percussion instruments are, including vibraphones, marimbas, and tuned wooden instruments of ethnic or makeshift origin. Electronics are not off limits either, including computers, samples, oscillators, and such, and things are mixed up enough that for a three disc set that approaches the four hour mark, there’s never a dull moment (although things do get very quiet at times and one might end up thinking the program is over when it isn’t) and there always seems to be something interesting going on, and a surprise around every corner. “Humingbird Medicine” (by Chapman Welch) is a lively melodic piece performed on computer-assisted vibraphone, jumping from one idea to the next and then pausing while the computer interprets and processes, resulting in an interesting back-and-forth. “Ancient Caves” (Jeff Herriott) is a dark and mysterious piece pulling all sorts of alien sounds out of the bass drum. Disc two opens with “Tattoo of a Gesture” (Margaret Scheidel & Christopher Howard), one of the most rhythmically unusual pieces, using hand drums, various metal instruments, cymbals, gongs, bells, and such, brought to life in odd and different methods, with computer joining the fun mid way through. “CUT” (Paul Elwood) closes disc two, another piece showcasing what is effectively a multi-layered orchestra of gongs, bells, metallophones, and primitive electronics, morphing and shifting throughout its duration. Titles of other tracks like “Music for Snare Drum and Computer,” “Bone Alphabet,” and “Music for Hi-Hat and Computer” should provide some insight into the experimental and explorative nature of this set, and where Cudd is leading the listener to. Very cool stuff.
Related artist(s): Patti Cudd
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more