Peter A. Schmid


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Despite the fact that this duo recording of master reed and woodwinds players Peter A. Schmid and Vinny Golia is entitled Birdology, it is not a tribute to the late Charlie Yardbird Parker, but rather reflects the habits, migration, and nesting aspects of the creatures themselves. However, the flocks of birds are in a sense metaphorical, in that these 16 pieces reflect flockings of instruments, including tubas, clarinets, flutes, piccolos, recorders, saxophones, etc. These are tonal studies; they offer aural scenes of travel, gestation, and migration from one aspect of sound to another, with deep inquiry and playfulness based on the harmonic and scalar possibilities not only in each instrument, but in the abilities of each player. Nothing here is over six and a half minutes, with the vast majority of pieces clocking in under the four-minute mark. There is a directness of approach and attack here that brings the taut immediacy of an articulation or investigation right to the listener without her or him having to speculate what the point might be. This music flows, dips, floats, and soars, and is a sheer joy to encounter. Birdology is sheer delight.

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