Percussionist Martin Saint-Pierre takes in influences from his homeland of Argentina as well as his extensive travels to Africa, Europe, and Asia, to create music that is rooted in diverse ethnic cultures but is also quite radical with experimentation. His debut album, the aptly titled Solo Creation, finds Saint-Pierre performing completely solo on bendir (an Arabic frame drum) on side A and bongos on side B. What might have been tedious ethno-drum solos in anyone else's hands becomes something far more remarkable under Saint-Pierre's virtuosity. With just a pair of percussion instruments he gets an incredible range of sounds and moods. Each side of the record has a single piece, though broken in two sections. Side A's "Document" offers heartbeat pulses, fluttering beats, whispering noises, rolling, sawing, crashing, and what even sounds like a chugging locomotive, as Saint-Pierre coaxes any possible sound out of the instrument without the use of processing. The more trance-like bongo piece on the other side's "Ancestrales" has extremely fast finger pulses that create flowing textures in a constantly changing mosaic. Both pieces are played with high energy and dexterity, and with a lot of imagination and flair, expanding on the drums to the limit without losing their natural sounds.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Rolf Semprebon