Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Recording: GREX

Artist: GREX

Songs: Christopher's Bell Game [excerpt; composer: Christopher Willes] + All Is Loneliness [Moondog cover] + Kviria [trad. Georgian, arr. A. Samaras]

Recorded at The Music Gallery, December 20, 2013.

GREX - Christopher's Bell Game [excerpt]

GREX - All Is Loneliness

GREX - Kviria

Full review to follow. Alex Samaras' GREX ensemble continues to be a rare combination of musical forward-thinking and unadorned beauty, specializing in vocal arrangements of songs both ancient and avant-garde. For this set, they greeted the audience as they entered the Music Gallery with Christoper Willes' game-piece for handbells1, which segued into a piece by ensemble fave Meredith Monk. "All is Loneliness" seemed like an appropriate pick for the dark times of the year's shortest days, but sun-invocation "Kviria" (an old Georgian folk song) was its antidote — in Samaras' hands, it sounds like God's own choir channelling Pet Sounds isolated vocal tracks.

1 More of Willes' new work is forthcoming soon at the next instalment of the Music Gallery's Emergents series on January 17, 2014. Recommended!

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