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Herfsttonen (review)

Published: March 24, 2011
Tags: esc.rec.27, Press


Review by Sonomu:

Thank goodness for country bumpkins with keen vision and broad horizons.

Okkenbroek is a hamlet somewhere in the middle of the Netherlands which sponsored an arts festival and, with the help of Esc Rec, commissioned a trio of out-of-towners to each come up with a piece of music inspired by its rural setting.

Cellist Paul de Jong plundered the tape archives of certain Herr Holterbroek and created a scrapbook of oral history and local colour which reputedly moved residents in attendance to tears. His marvellous chamber piece opens with de Jong bending the strings of his instrument to make it sound like a pedal steel guitar, fully justifying the name ”Okkenblues” for an otherwise uplifting experience.

Multimedia artist MiaMia created a soundtrack out of a trek in the woods called ”The Branches and the Frog” to back her dreamlike recitation; ”I reminded myself not to get lost…I secretly wanted to get lost.”

Gluid, the only artist with whose fine solo recordings this reviewer is in fact familiar, accompanies a cellist and vibraphonist by orchestrating samples of local birdsong, barnyard creatures and town conversation into a sound quilt as colourful as a tulip farm. As it unfolds, ”101009 (Hellige Ding´n)” turns into a real toe-tapper, too.

For one brief moment, Okkenbroek was truly a European Capital of Culture.

Stephen Fruitman

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