Gordon / Matthusen / Splinter Reeds - Dark Currents | RECORD STORE DAY
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Dark Currents is the third full-length recording by Splinter Reeds, the West Coast's premier reed quintet featuring Kyle Bruckmann (English horn), Bill Kalinkos, Nicki Roman, Jeff Anderle (bass clarinet) and Dana Jessen. The album opens with Michael Gordon's majestic "Tall Grass," which cascades upwards into undulating waves of melody before spreading outward on a moody canvas that surges with tension and emotion. By contrast, Paula Mathussen's "Antenna Studies" combines ambient soundscapes and found sounds, while the musicians quietly tease their instruments with breath control and percussive pad strikes as a somber melodic figure gradually begins to take shape. Taken together, these two 20-minute performances propel the listener forward on an ever-changing journey, by turns hypnotic, ecstatic, surreal and spooky, that tests the pre-conceived boundaries of modern chamber music.