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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Jennifer Bellor, Oneira, Clocks in Motion


The chamber group Clocks in Motion presents Oneira (Aerocade Music AM012), which gives us an entire album of the music of Jennifer Bellor. None of this was familiar to me until I kindly received this album in the mail for consideration. Several days of listens later, I can say confidently that I now KNOW, and I am happy I do.

Clocks in Motion is a threesome of mallets and percussion with the addition of a guest percussionist to make up a quartet. So we hear John Corkill, Christopher G. Jones and Sean Kleve with guest Megan Arns or Kyle Flans. Everybody sounds excellent as they wind their way through the three specially composed works by Jennifer Bellor.

The composer is the first in what the group hopes will be a long line of artists in residence for their "Clock Shop," a long term, in this case four-year collaboration where she worked with them to workshop, create and develop multiple percussion compositions ultimately to perform and record. The happy first fruits can be appreciated on the CD at hand.

It turns out that Ms. Bellor came through with music that is not rote-ly repetitively Minimalist or New in an expected sense. Rather you might experience this music as I did, as a kind of New Classical Ethnic-Folk hybrid of pentatonic and diatonic musics of infectious rhythm and brightly chiming and syncopating excitement, like perhaps in essence Balinese Gamelan, only wholly original and local to the US like the legacy of percussion group music classics from here, only evolved and inventive in its own ways.

Each work unfolds in nicely built structures of expression, in ways that those who love melodic percussion groups will doubtless find as charming and continually invigorating as I did. Happily recommended!

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