Robert Dick / Mari Kimura

Irrefragable Dreams

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This series of eight duets and two solo works (one each) by flutist Robert Dick and violinist Mari Kimura has an air of antiquity about it in the sense that though the music is wholly new and improvised, the things it concerns itself with -- techniques, phrasing, breath control, dynamics, and so on -- echo across the centuries. There are archaic terminologies used in the titling of pieces as well, and Mr. Dick and Ms. Kimura were kind enough to give us a glossary of terms on the sleeve. Overall, what distinguishes this recording is the startling deliberate pacing of the pieces as they unfold. On the opener, "60 Minas to a Talent" (currency measurements in ancient Greece), Ms. Kimura uses both bow and pizzicato to offer a foundation for Mr. Dick's flute. She pitches and slides in the empty spaces, but otherwise plays very slowly so his ideas can articulate themselves without obstacle. On the works here Dick uses a bass flute; on "Prototroph" it is he who creates a conical, almost droning effect for Ms. Kimura's stunning array of short-bowed, plucked, strummed, and hammered-on string techniques. Again, the more assertive dynamic forces come in the spaces between interconnection, and pace, again slowly articulating one or two microtonal statements, is the key to hearing the piece. Given the freewheeling tempo and tonal exchanges in the intervals, the restraint during intervallic interplay is quite surprising. Turning it on and off so quickly so many times in the course of a single day must have taxed both musicians. But the effect of this is poetic: there are accents, spaces, ellipses, and even couplets in this music; it has linguistic tenets. And one cannot help but to think that this was in the purpose of both performers. Highly recommended.

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