AMN Reviews: India Gailey – to you through [Redshift Records TK511]

For this, her second solo album, Nova Scotia cellist India Gailey (b. 1992) put together a program of six works from a multigenerational selection of living composers—five by others, and one by herself.

The oldest composer represented is Philip Glass (b. 1937), with his 2013 Orbit for solo cello. This challenging piece, with its steady, perpetual motion rhythms and measured harmonic movement carried along on single lines and multiple-stopped chords, very clearly shows itself to be a lineal descendant of the Bach suites for solo cello. Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti’s (b. 1983) ko’u inoa, from 2017, is another piece for cello by itself; it is a pulsating, arpeggiated work with a Lydian flavor. Two of the compositions feature Gailey’s voice as well as her cello. On her own Ghost (2020) her vocal part carries a melody over undulating chords pivoting on open strings, while on diepenveen (2020), a work written for Gailey by Yaz Lancaster (b. 1996), the cellist sings a text by the composer over a slow drift of sharp dissonances and arpeggiated harmonics. Fjóla Evans’ (b. 1987) Augun (2013) is an electroacoustic piece consisting of electronically superimposed, interlocking motifs. The highlight of the album is Light Is Calling by Bang on a Can’s Michael Gordon (b. 1956), a moving work written in 2004 in response to the 9/11 attacks. The harmonic foundation of the piece consists of a reversed electronic pulse, over which an elegiac, upper-register melody soars.

Daniel Barbiero

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