Transient Canvas, the duo of bass clarinetist Amy Advocat and marimbist Matt Sharrock, has over the years built a repertoire for their unique combination of instruments by commissioning work by contemporary composers. Their third release, Right now, in a second, continues this practice with premiere recordings of seven compositions by seven composers, all written between 2014 and 2017. Taken together, these pieces demonstrate the multidimensional, complementary relationships made possible by Transient Canvas’ seemingly austere, but in fact sonically rich, instrumentation.
To start at the end, the final track, Keith Kirchoff’s Monochrome, is a minimalist-like work built up of repeated figures, pulsing rhythms and interlocking accents that, ironically in light of its title, highlight the lush and anything-but-monochromatic color spectrum of the two instruments, particularly of the marimba. The title track, by Stefanie Lubkowski, contrasts liminal dynamics and pensive melodies for bass clarinet with episodes of pixillated rhythmic counterpoint. The kernel of Jonathan Bailey Holland’s Rebounds is a rhythmically assertive, single note passed between bass clarinet and marimba; serving first as an independent theme, the note gradually anchors a series of brief melodic flights moving away from and back toward it. Barbara White’s Fool Me Once, which opens the set, begins with rapid, syncopated lines for both Advocat and Sharrock which unravel into quiet, almost tentative passages with spaces between. The collection also includes the haltingly conversational \very/ specifically vague by Emily Koh; Clifton Ingram’s multipart Cold Column Calving; and Crystal Paccuci’s emotionally charged resonance imaging. Advocat and Sharrock’s performances on all seven works maintain the high technical standards and immediacy of presence that characterize their previous two albums.