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Review

Barry Witherden, The Wire, no. 290, April 1, 2008

This album is the fruit of a ten year collaboration between Canadian Brady and the Brisbane based quintet Topology. Some of the pieces were written for them, others were adapted for them, such as SCAT (because we all have voices and stories to tell), which started out as a quartet piece. On a couple of tracks the group is further augmented by Brady’s guitar samples and percussion, clarinet and bassoon. Brady skilfully exploits the range of textures available from the group: for example, in the outer movements of SCAT, darting, staccato figures are passed around in different voicings and rhythmic shapes, whilst in the slow movement, in Darkness from Lightning Field and also the piece Dark Matter, long held tones intermix and modify each other. The spirit of Steve Reich dominates Illumination and the final section of SCAT, which recalls Reich’s Different Trains and City Life, where instrumental parts develop from figures that evoke everyday speech patterns. Brady includes a passage where the musicians move from indistinct general chatter to unison sentences. Energetic and entertaining stuff.

Energetic and entertaining stuff

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