A work of dark, gothic beauty, Dubh presents seven tracks by seven Irish composers: Linda Buckley, Judith Ring, Enda Bates, Peter Moran, Scott McLaughlin, Garrett Sholdice and Benedict Schlepper-Connolly.
Dubh captures Trio Scordatura at their variegated best. Alfrun Schmid (vocals), Elisabeth Smalt (violas) and Bob Gilmore (keyboard/electronics), create spaces both of astonishing intimacy and subtlety, and almost terrifying, textured expansiveness.
Dubh is about a certain generation of Irish composers, a generation that is finding its place between tradition and the modern world. A consistent atmosphere of slow-burning introspection prevails – an introspection arising out of a common preoccupation with the luxuriance of sound itself. Excursions beyond the Western equal-tempered scale are frequent, notably via the Adapted Viola, a viola designed by American maverick Harry Partch. These moments lend the overall work a rare harmonic depth and richness.
Recorded at Amplus Studios, Flanders, in sweltering summer 2009 and mixed/mastered in the snow-blizzard winter that followed, Dubh tells that there is always something other at work beneath the whitest landscape. In this, it celebrates difference, and the beauty in darkness.
Note: ‘Dubh’ is Irish for ‘black’. It’s pronounced ‘dove’ or ‘doove’.
“… a startling disc … the nub of everything here is Trio Scordatura: an idiosyncratic voice, Harry Partch inspired-viola and MIDI keyboards. Whatever the approach or challenge set, this ensemble investigates with such thoroughness and panache so that each work sets one on a sonic adventure.” – Bernard Clarke, cmc.ie