AMN Reviews: Sawako – (Baskaru)

I take the name “Sawako” less as the monicker of an exceptionally talented “sound sculptor” and “signal alchemist” (her words) and more a genre of Japanese aesthetics itself, like origami, ikebana, netsuke – something delicate, painstakingly wrought, and exquisitely detailed, from which more than mere pleasure can be derived. Ambient is too broad, experimental electronics too specific. Sawako articulates the “Locus of Everyday Life” itself, as the first track, piano opening tentatively as a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, attests.

“Pass.age” seems to flock and literally smooth down its feathers before taking mass, stork-like flight. And the track “F.light” itself is the wind beneath their wings. All Sawako´s pieces on are delicately showered and aspirated, only forming thicker precipitation on “Piano Cote”. It evaporates into infinity on the plain of “In.fini”.

It has been six full years since her last full album, Bitter Sweet (12k). Sawako takes her time. No chance operations, pure craftsmanship mediating a message of being in all its tenuous, ultimately barely graspable meaning. Certainty tweaks hold of its object between cruel fingers and possesses it in search of knowledge, but possession denies its individuality and its thousand variations. alights right in front of you and allows you to behold it, but only for so long.

Stephen Fruitman

‘Pierre Boulez: The Complete Columbia Album Collection’ Reviewed

Pierre Boulez in 2004
Pierre Boulez in 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From, a review of Pierre Boulez‘s conducting efforts, now available as a boxed set.

In an interview by email, Bogdan Roscic, the president of Sony Music Masterworks, said that with Mr. Boulez’s 90th birthday approaching next March, “we wanted to present as complete a picture as we could of his work as a conductor.” (The set omits the recordings he has made for Deutsche Grammophon.) Lumbered with long back catalogs and shrinking demand, record companies have let loose a deluge of boxed sets, often covering the complete careers of conductors, pianists, singers and everything in between. These are niche products, but often successful ones. Mr. Roscic said that the target audience for such sets is the collector’s market, “people who appreciate an authoritative career overview,” listeners who already have many but not all of the recordings in a new box — or none at all.

String Quartet ETHEL’s 2015 Schedule


Jan 23: Documerica, West Lafayette, IN
Feb 5: Composer Portrait / Missy Mazzoli, New York City, NY
Feb 20-21: Documerica, Sarasota, FL
Feb 26: Music of the Sun, Lawrence, KS
Mar 4: Grace, Edinboro, PA
Mar 2-7: Ensemble-in-Residence at Denison University, Granville, OH Mar 7: Tutti Festival, Granville, OH
Mar 21: Ecstatic Music Festival, New York City, NY
Apr 9: Documerica, New Orleans, LA
Apr 17: Documerica, Los Angeles, CA
Apr 22-25: Ensemble-in-Residence at Denison University, Granville, OH