Colour and interest
Music by Carolyn Yarnell, presented by
Tzadik TZ 7087
Born in California and raised in the Sierra Nevada, Yarnell's
musical exposure has been wide, from avant-rock and jazz to
her present state described in her publicity as
'maverick in the American tradition of Partch, Ruggles and
Riley ...' checking in on the borders of minimalism,
romanticism and the Baroque. She is a founding member of the
Common Sense Composers' Collective through which many of her
compositions have been commissioned. Her strongest
inspiration is 'the beauty and power of nature'.
This is the
first CD devoted entirely to her work and, though variable in
quality of invention, it is none the less a programme of
colour and interest. The most impressive work is the most
recent -- The Same Sky -- a nineteen-minute exploration of her
synthesized piano programming, recalling in places the
ebullience of Conlan Nancarrow and his player piano creations.
The piece travels through several phases, with this from the
second [listen -- track 1, 5:50-6:50].
But Yarnell has a far more
aggressive aspect to her personality, no doubt feeling the
pain of bereavement in Love God, created three years earlier
[listen -- track 5, 3:11-4:03].
The two live instrumental pieces
are for Baroque instruments, a three movement work More
Spirit than Matter (1996) for flute, oboe, violin, viola da
gamba and harpsichord, and an atmospheric piece for processed
baroque flute (Stephen Schultz) which was written during the
1998 Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock desert, a piece to
fascinate and mesmerize
[listen -- track 6, 0:36-1:40].
notes tell of her attraction to natural rock formations and
subsequent time spent in Iceland on a Fulbright scholarship,
her winning of 'the prestigious Rome Prize', her accomplished
status as a painter and her most recent work, the writing of
an autobiography called Baby Girl. Carolyn Yarnell has an
impressive breadth to her creative interests.
Corey Jane Holt >>
Copyright © 13 March 2004
Patric Standford, Wakefield UK
BUY THIS DISC ONLINE
Carolyn Yarnell - Sonic Vision
TZ 7087 Stereo NEW RELEASE 57'41" 2003 Tzadik
Carolyn Yarnell, synthesiser, programming, vocals (The Same Sky and Love God); American Baroque: Stephen Schultz, baroque flute; Gonzalo X Ruiz, baroque oboe; Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin; Roy Welden, viola da gamba; Paul Hale, baroque cello; Kathy Shao, harpsichord; George Thomson, conductor (More Spirit than Matter); Stephen Schultz, baroque flute; Eric Wenger, effects, processing (10/18)
Carolyn Yarnell: The Same Sky (2000); More Spirit than Matter (1996); Love God (1997); 10/18 (1998)
Record Box is Music & Vision's
regular series of shorter CD reviews