Tzenka Dianova: DeConstruction (Atoll)

 |   |  <1 min read

Tzenka Dianova: Le piege de Meduse (Satie)
Tzenka Dianova: DeConstruction (Atoll)

The words "contemporary classical music" probably strike as much fear into the hearts of innocent civilians as "free jazz".

For some reason these terms equate to cacophony for many (sometimes, to be fair, that is the case) . . . but on this album where Dianova plays piano, prepared piano and celesta we might have to reconsider what "contemporary classical" means: after all the composers almost exclusively featured here -- John Cage and Erik Satie -- have both long since passed on.

So this is hardly "contemporary" anymore. It is however still provocative and humorous, and keeps you alert.

Bulgarian-born, Canada-based Dianova studied in Auckland for a number of years, which explains why this album of music by the American Cage and Frenchman Satie (as well as piece by Dianova herself) appears on the creditable New Zealand label Atoll (which also recently released the award-winning album Gung-Ho by trombonist David Bremner).

Satie's Le piege de Meduse is a typically whimsical piece for prepared piano and is perhaps the easiest entry point for those nervous civilians, but from Cage's gloomy opener (the percussive Perilous Night) to the duet with Sarah Watkins on his vigorously lively Bacchanale, then the 14 minute ambient dreamscape of Satie's Vexations (which is like an eerie lullaby) at the end, this is a fascinating and beautifully recorded journey through sound.  

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Tom Waits: Glitter and Doom Live (Anti/Shock)

Tom Waits: Glitter and Doom Live (Anti/Shock)

Barney Hoskyn's recent useful but flawed Waits biography Lowside of the Road ended with the writer going to see Tom Waits in concert on this brief tour which was widely acclaimed as the best of... > Read more

Ry Cooder: I, Flathead (Warners)

Ry Cooder: I, Flathead (Warners)

Right, I'm not going to pretend this is easy to follow, but it's Ry Cooder so it's worth the effort.This album apparently completes the trilogy of Californian albums Cooder started with Chavez... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: A-Kel of Tomorrow People

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: A-Kel of Tomorrow People

They began life as a studio project . . . but the Wellington collective that is Tomorrow People quickly became a proper band, and one which took their name from the Ziggy Marley song and are... > Read more

ELSEWHERE WORLD SERVICE: A quick overview of recent world music releases

ELSEWHERE WORLD SERVICE: A quick overview of recent world music releases

Here's a frequent flyer/transit lounge column for those at home who want to get their musical passport stamped. Elsewhere has so many CDs and downloads commanding and demanding attention that we... > Read more