Monday, February 22, 2021

Gina Biver, Fuse Ensemble, Nimbus, Colette Inez


You can never be sure where you will be until you get there. That's true of life of course but also of New Music. Take today's musical program featuring the music of Gina Biver, Fuse Ensemble plays Nimbus (Neuma 131). It surprises and pleases. It features vividly musical settings for the recitations of the poetry of Colette Inez, simultaneously narrative, insightful, paradoxically playful yet tragic, poetic. 

The CD jacket explains that this is "for electroacoustic chamber ensemble, voice and spoken word."  This electroacoustic ensemble is mostly various shifting instrumentation (some seven instrumentalists used in varying combinations) and some soundscaped effects. such as church bells and chant-hymn making, and importantly a recitation voice, sometimes filtered or briefly repeated, otherwise true-to-text and linear.

The music is tonal, Post-Minimal I guess you could say when it pulsates, otherwise nicely Contemporary in an expressive narrative way, playful and evocative to reflect and deflect the recitation.

To be more specific it all is a collaboration between Inez and Biver, with the poet reciting some, the composer others and some sung (beautifully) by soprano Tula Pisano. There are previously alluded to ambient recordings of sounds from Nerac, France (the locus of much of the drama). It centers around the poet's thoughts on the coming-to-be and early childhood memories of her very self. It  considers the circumstances of her coming to exist, born of an affair of her father a Roman Catholic Priest and her mother, "a young French scholar assigned to assist him."

It all flows together remarkably well, disarmingly unpretentiously, matter-of-factually, yet touchingly dramatic in its unique obversion of language and music that points nearly obliquely but most memorably and expressively. It its own fashion it has a stunning way about it. It makes me want to hear other works from Ms. Biver. And the poetry gains all the more by its recitation-music-presentation. Take a listen by all means. And grab a copy. Bravo.

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