Tim Hodgkinson — Sketch of Now
(Mode 164, 2006, CD)
by K. Leimer, Published 2007-03-01
We are far from done with the extremes of 20th Century music. Sketch of Now explores a large number of ideas, both perceptual and conceptual, in conceiving and performing these six pieces composed from 2001 to 2004. By beginning with nuances — Hodgkinson initiates one piece by extrapolating the play of flageolet glissandos, another by contemplating the nature of resistance to perception — and operating within composed and improvised disciplines we return to the often uncomfortable and disorienting terrain inhabited by Art Music. Lacking the stifling formality of that broad genre and shaped by Hodgkinson’s diverse background, every tradition is deliberately freed from any obligations of form. Instrumentation includes the familiar elements of most ensembles, but is extended by the addition of computer-modified ’cello; electric guitar; tape; tenor sax and percussion. Embracing pure sound as well as the more recognized emissions of instruments, there is a restless, often strident and uncompromising quality to the music. Contrast is deployed in the most subtle and the most overt ways imaginable. At turns violent, many of the pieces exhibit a brooding sense of conflict and opposition and remain asymmetrical and unresolved — not to imply that symmetry and resolution are of any real concern here. Like the unyielding opacity of Sang and the rampant abstractions of the more recent Fluvial, Hodgkinson seems intent on working the outer boundaries of composition and improvisation without regard to convention. The sound of music set free of any and all preconceptions is as close as this.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more