Chris Prosser: Mistune; Violin and Tanpura (Rongotai)

 |   |  <1 min read

Quakey
Chris Prosser: Mistune; Violin and Tanpura (Rongotai)

Violinist Chris Prosser was one half of the innovative and genre-defying duo Besser and Prosser (with pianist Jonathan Besser) in the Eighties. After two albums they went on separate paths: Besser also part of the Free Radicals electronic outfit with Ross Harris then into many other directions; Prosser back to London for 20 years before returning to New Zealand a decade ago.

These days he is involved in theatre music, free improvisation, running his own Rongotai label, playing klezmer music (as he did in Besser and Prosser) and playing again with Besser.

But here – using different tunings and with Susan Thomson providing the tanpura drone – he offers 15 stark pieces which, despite the presence of the Indian tanpura, reach into other other cultural and musical references.

You can certainly hear elements of Balkan and Jewish folk laments in some pieces, a sense of yearning and loss in others (the measured lachrymose tone of Standard) and a sense of timelessness – or times past -- in others (the almost wearily romantic Thrum).

The overriding sensibility is of gravitas and penetratingly dark melodies so it goes without saying that such spare, serious and emotionally demanding music is not for the casual listener.

However for those prepared to accept the drone, atonal aspects and the sparse settings there are many rewards here, especially when sampled slowly to appreciate the uniqueness of each piece.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Michi Sarmiento: Los Bravos!/The Best of Michi Sarmiento (Sound Way)

Michi Sarmiento: Los Bravos!/The Best of Michi Sarmiento (Sound Way)

Time to push back the furniture and clear some dance space, or at least hit the Google search for the background to this Colombian band leader. Apparently the young Sarmiento pulled... > Read more

Various Artists: Next Stop Soweto Vol 2 (Strut)

Various Artists: Next Stop Soweto Vol 2 (Strut)

Following on from the recent and pretty cool Next Stop Soweto (volume one, obviously) comes this even better collection, this subtitled "soul, funk and organ grooves from the townships... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE COMMONPLACE BOOK by ELIZABETH SMITHER

THE COMMONPLACE BOOK by ELIZABETH SMITHER

Some years ago I was walking down Queen St in central Auckland and stopped outside the Body Shop. There, along an exterior wall, was written one of those thought-provoking and inspirational quotes... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: Pop-pop pop music

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: Pop-pop pop music

You can't help notice how cheap it is to get into popular music these days as record companies repackage and recycle albums in small and economic sets. The advantage of these budget-price... > Read more