The credits state that percussionist Vasco Trilla plays timpani and gong. There are certainly other sounds occurring, but if correct, the limitations prove useful. At least to these ears, many of the sounds would remain unidentifiable. Narrowing the focus also ensures enhanced listener comprehension. There is nothing demonstrating performer accomplishment more completely than to explore an instrument in depth and detail, and there can be nothing more beautiful than this album of improvised percussion on which Trilla does just that.
There are certain tracks where the timbral origin is obvious, as with "Hylomorphism", where the dialogue of timpani and gong mark time while also putting it to rest. In other cases, sound demarcation becomes delightfully hazy, as in the opening and concluding tracks, where it sounds as if a siren is also in play. Trilla bows, strikes, rolls and otherwise cajoles his instruments into extraordinary emotive states bespeaking a confluence of size and color, sometimes in clear and stark gestures and at others in concentric waves of crescendo and pitch. "Celestial Spheres" is irresistible for that reason, with its bell-like sonorities sliding and gently swooping beyond the easy categorizations of pitch and register. On the opposite end of the spectrum lies the roar and corporeal shimmer of "Living Bodies," where the gong provides a supporting role to a blinding onslaught of upper-register tintinnabulation.
The most remarkable thing about the music is its meditative roots. No matter how large, steep or gentle the swells and rocks of which it might be comprised, there is a steadiness and calm to the whole, something peaceful in the structure and form. The recording is not distant, and there is plenty of detail to tickle the ear, but there is a sense of vastness, or height, or depth — difficult to say exactly which — that pervades every note and sound. There is not so much a sense of movement as a sort of stasis in motion; or is it the opposite? Try this one with headphones or on a really good playback system for the complete and completely palpable experience.
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