AMN Reviews: Weather Duo – From Field to Platter

Weather Duo: From Field to Platter

The new CD from Weather Duo, consisting of Ben Willis on double bass and electronics and Pat Reinholz on cello and electronics, deftly combines influences from Minimalism, electronic experimentalism, folk and rock. By turns spare and lush, organic and electronic, the compositions and performances build intriguing structures from disparate elements, whether these latter are pulsing phrases, pentatonic melodies, long-period drones, or processed sounds.

Although the CD is divided into separate tracks, the individual pieces work together to create the effect of a long suite. The recording opens with Helicopters, a drone of oscillating microtones that evolves into a pulsing bass with a cello melody on top. Entering Loth has the bass unfold a raga-like exposition in the upper register, leading directly to Loth, a piece that moves from a folk-like pentatonic opening into a cello melody over a bass ostinato that then develops into complementary pulsing phrases carried by both instruments. Interlude is just that, an entr’acte of electronic abstraction that flows directly into the somber, long-held tones of North. Into the Country is a predominantly minor-key piece built on slowly rising and descending lines, while Falling Asleep to the Feedback combines a three-against-four pulse with a vocal/electronic overlay. Following the abstract sounds and extended techniques of He Crawls from Speakers, the CD ends with decaDodeca-Lanterns, a complex pulse piece that starts with overlapping 18-beat and 15-beat phrases and ends with a passage of simple hymn-like harmonies in a reflective mood.