Thursday, April 28, 2016

Recording: Christine Duncan/Patrick O'Reilly/Laura Swankey

Artist: Christine Duncan/Patrick O'Reilly/Laura Swankey

Songs: [two excerpts]

Recorded at The Tranzac (Southern Cross Lounge), April 20, 2016.

Christine Duncan/Patrick O'Reilly/Laura Swankey - [set 1 excerpt]

Christine Duncan/Patrick O'Reilly/Laura Swankey - [set 2 excerpt]

Excellent work here from three fab improvisers. I'd seen Christine Duncan and Laura Swankey vocalizing together a couple months ago, so it was interesting to watch their chemistry continuing to develop. Meanwhile, Patrick O'Reilly added a wide range of sonic backgrounds on guitar, his pedals helping him to move from percussive krrchings to ambient textures.

There's an amazing bit of improvised beauty in the second piece — there's a couple minutes in the middle of this chunk that are at a lower level than is easy to listen to, but something really magical happens. Duncan starts into a meditation on choices, and riffs for a bit on the notion of "a bird in the hand", and then into a meditation on what's near to your hand right now, and what you could choose to do with it.

The others drop out, and Duncan continues in almost a whisper. Then there's a long pause, and she concludes (at around the 4:00 of this excerpt), "think about it" — and for a second it feels as if that's going to be it. But then, she re-gathers her thoughts and delivers a spontaneous secular sermon on choice and presence and it's just wonderful. And speaking of choices, listen how O'Reilly and Swankey come back in to shimmer around Duncan's words as they pull everything back into a giant crane shot/psychic hug to close it out.

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