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By Mari Kimura. By Joao Bosco; Egberto Gismonti; Mari Kimura; Hermeto Pascoal. Classical. CD (1 disc). Published by Innova (NX.INN958).
Item Number: NX.INN958
One of an instrument's most obvious limits is its highest and lowest notes. Usually. But for generations, musicians have found ways of pushing past even those most obvious physical limits. Voyage Apollonian showcases these techniques on JanMaricana for Subharmonics," where Mari Kimura (composer, violinist, and Juiliard professor) explores undertones beyond the more typical octave, including a fifth below the fundamental tone- a technique that eluded her for years until a breakthrough that allowed her to harness it reliably. The piece evokes the Bohemian flavors of Smetana and Dvorak, honoring the home country of Jan and Marica Vilcek to whom JanMaricana is dedicated. All other pieces by Kimura along with the title track employ a WIFI motion sensor designed to extract musical expressions based on the motion of the bow. Through this technology, kimura can create second voices in canon or manipulate the playback through analyzing the quality of the bowing motions. It is like a band in a box, only without the box- all generated in real time. If all this makes the process sound almost technical, the results are the direct opposite, as illustrated by the inclusion of three dazzling Brazilian jazz transcriptions. Throughout, the performances are organic and warm, with every advanced technique or technological interaction disappearing into the fabric of the music itself. The subharmonics and computer accompaniment are not the view itself, they are the finger pointing at the moon, lenses that focus understanding. As Jim O'Rourke writes in the liner notes, "French electroacoustic composer Bernard Parmegiani once created a fine work called 'L'oeil Ecoute' (The Eye Hears) and I would propose a subtitle for this collection, 'The Ear Sees.'".