Am­bi­ent/clas­si­cal

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Brad Nor­ing­ton

Plea­sure Gar­den Genevieve Lacey ABC Clas­sics Many chil­dren grow up lov­ing or hat­ing the recorder as an in­stru­ment. Those pri­mary school lessons with Mrs Shirley were bound to leave a mark, as 30 play­ers tried to hit the same note at once and rarely suc­ceeded. But it is surely im­pos­si­ble not to be spell­bound by Genevieve Lacey, recorder vir­tu­oso, and best known to ABC Clas­sic FM lis­ten­ers for that ra­dio sta­tion’s fad of play­ing (or was it over­play­ing?) a lovely in­house re­lease called Rein­ven­tions.

On that al­bum, re­leased in 2015, Lacey was joined by the Flin­ders Quar­tet. She played recorders of all types for a tra­di­tional-style piece by Aus­tralian com­poser Elena Kats-Ch­ernin and re­vamps of works by Bach and Mozart. Plea­sure Gar­den is so dif­fer­ent to that record­ing. There are hints of the an­cient reper­toire, but much of the al­bum, billed as “an in­ter­ac­tive sound sculp­ture”, is high-pitched hoots, tweets, rhythms and the oc­ca­sional recorder run, blended with bird­calls and other bush sounds.

Plea­sure Gar­den was first in­tended as an in­stal­la­tion for Lam­b­ley Gar­dens in As­cot, Vic­to­ria, and for Vau­cluse House as part of last year’s Syd­ney Fes­ti­val. The mu­sic is grounded in vi­gnettes by the 17th-cen­tury Dutch com­poser Ja­cob van Eyck, a blind mu­si­cian fa­mous in Utrecht for wan­der­ing pub­lic gar­dens play­ing his “lit­tle flute”. Even the al­bum’s ti­tle is in­spired by van Eyck: his sur­viv­ing solo wood­wind work is called Der Fluyten Lust-hof, or The Flute’s Plea­sure Gar­den. Lacey’s per­for­mance is thought­ful, even wist­ful. It is late-night am­bi­ent fare, depend­ing on the mood.

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