EPHEMERA

Australian HIFI - - ON TEST -

Or­bits and Riffs (ephemer­aensem­ble.com)

I pre­sume a per­sonal in­ter­est in as­tron­omy has in­spired Kenya Wilkins to write pieces about plan­ets, moons, comets, and more, re­alised by her own pi­ano and flute, Will Gil­bert’s trum­pet and Elsen Price’s dou­ble bass and loops. Along­side the com­po­si­tions this ar­rest­ing, genre-blur­ring dou­ble al­bum con­tains group im­pro­vi­sa­tions and the use of eerie ‘field record­ings’ of deepspace ra­dio sig­nals. Rather than be­ing all sooth­ing, ce­les­tial am­bi­ence, how­ever, the up­shot is of­ten dis­qui­et­ing mu­sic of mas­sive breadth and some­times high drama. Among the many strik­ing pieces is Craters of Rhea (Saturn’s heav­ily pock-marked se­cond-largest moon), per­formed by Price’s si­mul­ta­ne­ously sump­tu­ous and un­nerv­ing looped bass. Wilkins also has a leav­en­ing lighter side that bursts into the fore­ground as full-blown hu­mour on Red Chil­dren, the third part of a Mars suite.

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