Music and Vision homepage

Record Box

Colour and interest

Music by Carolyn Yarnell, presented by

Tzadik    TZ 7087

Carolyn Yarnell: Sonic Vision. © 2003 Tzadik

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].

The brief 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


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)



 << Music & Vision home      Recent CD reviews       Maxwell Davies >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.

Record Box is Music & Vision's regular series of shorter CD reviews