Western Front, Vancouver 1996

Carlos Zingaro

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Western Front, Vancouver 1996 Review

by Thom Jurek

This document of a Western Front concert and first meeting between violinist Carlos Zingaro and cellist Peggy Lee is one of the most mysterious improvisations ever recorded between these two instruments. From the beginning, the listener senses the discontinuity of one instrumentalist without the other. Each is waiting, waiting, waiting for a process to begin, which includes and wholly embodies them both in its articulation. Once the tiniest beginning is made, simultaneously by both participants, the process has begun an evolution which courses through the known techniques (deep listening, timbral dynamic voicings, legato and obligato phrasing), the process of creation by instinct and nuance has begun in earnest. Here, nothing is off limits, restringing the bow in mid stroke, pizzicato, rubato, sonant conundrums, forceful dissonance and subtle, almost ambient sonant washes of nearly unidentifiable sound. The dialog becomes one that erases itself almost as quickly as it utters a syllable. There is no monody only a dynamism that this quiet yet elaborate and intricate Tower of Babel will be completed by the end of the show. The labyrinthine hallways and furrows of dynamic invention assure it. All of it under the guise that no one need decipher the process by which this music is conceived or made, only that they encounter it at some point before its structure is erected in full. This recording may be a cipher, but it is one of great beauty and artful execution.

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