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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Anne Vanschothorst, Harp, Ek is Elk

Today's CD has an ambient moodiness born of the sensitive harp playing of Anne Vanschothorst, alone, or in a duo or trio with other instrumentalists. Ek is Elk (Big Round 8932) is the title. The pieces have a gentle quality that plays upon delicate ostinato figures or other sustaining structures in the harp and in the case of the duos and trios a second (and when appropriate a third), sometimes improvisatory sounding part that no doubt is pre-arranged/composed but has a spontaneous, fantasia sort of flow to it.

There are several pieces that are co-composed by Bob van Luijt and feature the harp along with his bass, samples, effects and digi-orchestration. Other duets join Anne with the post-Milesian jazz-inflected trumpet of Saskia Laroo, Ernst Stolz on viola da gamba, and a trio with Arthur Bont on percussion and Thijs de Melker on acoustic bass.

The effect is a structured but dream-like realm of enchantment, a freely unfolding exotic sort of classical ambiance of mood and expressivity, a sort of post-ECM spaciousness.

Ms. Vanschothorst has a beautiful presence on her harp. She and her musical partners craft music to while away nearly an hour now and again to rock you gently into an internal world of well-being.

It is not modern in the cutting-edge of new conceptual innovation sense so much as a series of charming vignettes with which to furnish your inner space for a time. For that it is perfect. Most charming! It is good for what ails you.

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