Nikos Veliotis

Radial

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AllMusic Review by

Once again Nikos Veliotis deploys his originality and highly personal sense of musicality with this solo album. Radial consists of three untitled tracks ranging in duration from 12 to 20 minutes. Each track begins with a stretch of silence (four minutes 48 seconds at the beginning of track three). And each musical portion of the work features complex cello drones. Veliotis is using long slow bow movements, scraping very lightly two or three strings at a time to produce screechy textures rich in overtones. But the homogeneity of certain elements of the drone suggest that the cellist may be getting help. Even though the digipack remains mute about how the music was made (the press release only precises that no overdubs or editing were involved), I can almost see a spinning device (brush, metal disc) attached to the cello to produce a sustained drone -- then again, it may be only my imagination. Veliotis' bow movements adopt the rhythm of deep, relaxed breathing, inducing a strange resonance of the music into the listener (especially in the third piece). The stretches of silence at the beginning and end, and between tracks, give the listener a chance to prepare for the experience to come and, ultimately, meditate on what was heard. It is easy to be fooled by the Spartan look of this music and to dismiss it as nothing more than a screeching cello. But a serious, attentive listen reveals a peculiar kind of meditative piece. Radial is one letter shy from radical, and up to this day Radial is Veliotis' most radical proposition.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
12:25
2
19:52
3
15:12
blue highlight denotes track pick