This CD marks the recording debut for Australian performer/composer collective, Sideband. The brainchild of composers Tristan Coelho, Brad Gill and Peter McNamara, it features visceral performances by high calibre musicians. The Sideband composers are joined by emerging composer Chris Williams, and guest Slovenian-Australian Bozidar Kos.
In Kos’s Modulations, solo flute is set twisting and writhing in a turbulent sea of percussion, at the same time being warped and transposed by live electronics. Brad Gill conjures a haunting atmosphere in Crickets for baritone and small ensemble, while his complex piano solo, Light, Snow, Suicide, presents a restless tapestry of melodic and chordal fragments. Chris Williams’ work for soprano and percussion, of silence into silence has a strong dramatic presence.
Tristan Coelho commands attention: his 2011 As the Dust Settles for bass recorder and vibraphone presents one of the most engaging soundworlds in the programme. Alicia Crossley’s playing is wildly virtuosic, engaging in erratic dialogue with Gill’s vibraphone. In The Writer’s Hand, Coelho fragments three female voices, creating a maddening counterpoint that pits spitting consonants against a strange lyricism. Peter McNamara’s Cadenza II for cello is another highlight, Julia Ryder deftly managing the complex demands, while his percussion solo, Voltage, features Claire Edwardes.