Thanos Chrysakis' Aural Terrains celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Not a minor accomplishment, considering the level of competition — so to speak — distinguishing the sonic field inside which the label operates. Each new AT release attempts to raise the bar in a quest for improved artistic significance while not overlooking the sheer aesthetic attributes of interactions involving sets of players (or more unsocial investigations such as, for example, Edith Alonso's brilliant Collapse).
That said, Home represents a rather engrossing outing. Highlighting the rational consciousness of percussionist Steve Noble and multi-instrumentalist Yoni Silver (here exclusively on bass clarinet), the album comprises four improvised sets. Its overall pace is definable as measured, sometimes even reflective, notwithstanding both musicians' capability of augmenting the vibrational magnitude and the roughness of the timbral grain when new creative intuitions suggest it.
A striking quality amidst many is the absolute control shown by Noble and Silver, literally in every instant of performance. It takes a life entirely consecrated to the pursuance of meaningful sounds to get this result: a sensate coalescence of unfaltering pitches, pulverized upper partials and relative peacefulness, now and then spiced by a pinch of buzzing grit. Technical orthodoxy and transcendence of the physical being turn the interplay into a fresco of varying luminescence not deprived of stronger shades.
One may have listened a thousand times to a bowed cymbal, or to a reed's bell eliciting a metal sheet's vibration. Not only does this duo exalt the harmonious features of those well-known components, but they also merge them within a "dynamic wisdom" that causes familiar gradations to appear fresher and ultimately more interesting to a listener's ear. Persistent, yet not obsessive; snoopy, but not foolish. Noble and Silver prove how an improvisation can still be identified by the adjective "clever": this, too, is not a secondary achievement.
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