Music Library Review of the Week

Music Library Review of the Week

Friday 8/16, 1:30pm

Album: The Sound of Science  |  Artist: Jeffrey Zeigler & Golden Hornet  |  Label: National Sawdust Tracks  |  Genre: Experimental

Unique conception of Austin collective Golden Hornet Project (GHP), tapping 7 musicians of various nationalities to compose pieces inspired by scientists of their own choosing, all performed by Jeffrey Zeigler, formerly of the Kronos Quartet, on cello and electronics on the album's 8 cuts. Local connections: The opening and closing pieces are composed by GHP's Graham Reynolds. Former Austinite Sxip Shirey did the backing tracks for cut #3. The inspiration of the scientists and their works are fascinating (no room for that here, but you can find them at goldenhornet.org/sound-of-science). All tracks are recommended. Track descriptions: 1. the most energetic piece, beginning and ending with rapid-fire, rhythmic cello arpeggio and electronic percussion underlying slow, drawn-out cello melodies. 2. ominous, hypnotic, with a dark and deep pulse beneath multi-layered soundscapes of processed cellos. 3. fluid environmental sounds, serious and up close cello passages. 4. underpinning of staccato string plucking, evoking the kora of Gambia; cello distortion evoking electric rock guitar. 5. propulsive piece whose electronics incorporate recordings of transmissions from space from the piece's scientist muse Jill Tarter. 6. rather than melodic, the piece is a long, sculpted cello dialog and argument in several discrete parts. 7. slow cello passages, solo or overlapping in a chamber music setting; minimal electronic processing. 8. stately, mysterious; cello, environmental sounds, tribal percussion. - Charlie Martin (Around the Town Sounds; Thursdays at noon)