AMN Reviews: Mondo Flockard – Spirals (2016; Terranean Recordings)


Spirals is a two-track EP from Australian percussionist Maria Moles. Her primary approach is to play kit drums and/or objects over drones and electronics. Thus, the percussion is anything but keeping time, and instead contributes non-linearly to the foreground.

The 7-minute first track, Tranquility in a Cup, creates a dense, dark sound-world, not unlike a Robert Rich or Alio Die creation, with scattered cymbal work and glacial textures. The second track, Spiral Sketches, includes electric guitar. A sparse piece, it harkens more to European free improv  (think Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley), or is perhaps comparable to some of Andrew Drury’s more experimental works.

Regardless of context, it is difficult to put one’s finger on any particular influence that drives Ms. Moles. Her compositions are tectonic, shifting soundscapes, while her improvisations use every corner of the drum kit and beyond. This a notable first effort, hopefully one of many to come.

The Julius Eastman Revival

Source: The New York Times.

Eastman performances are burgeoning, including a concert planned for February at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, where he spent his most productive years. The Philadelphia new-music organization Bowerbird is in the midst of a multiyear Eastman retrospective and is planning a festival for May that the group hopes to repeat in New York next fall. Bowerbird is also working to create dependable editions of his most important works to avoid the errors that have crept into some recent performances.