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Hypnosis Negative is a collaboration between Canadian Robert Alan Mackie (violin) and Estonian Katariina Tirmaste (flute, jawharp). The duo explores the roots of dance in their modern original interpretations of international and traditional repetitive dance music with inherent trance-like “hypnotic” listening and movement qualities.
The ten-track debut release includes their modern renditions of some Estonian dance tunes they found in folk music archives, which I appreciate as a Canadian musician of Estonian parents. The first track – Hi (Mardi Tandi Polka), and last track – Bye (Kuldimuna Lõikaja) – are each under 50 seconds, opening and closing the release with two shorter version repetitive rhythmic and melodic Estonian polka interpretations. Track 2, Buffalo Gals, (Kuldimuna Lõikaja), from the “common repertoire” Estonia, is its longer version. This upbeat rendition has many melodic repetitions with flute harmonies, quasi atonality and a waltz midstream, with a legato violin countermelody to an abrupt “time to stop dancing” accented ending. Guest percussionist is Juan de la Fuente Alcón. His subtle background beats in the calming waltz Sõrmõlugu from Estonian Jaan Palu’s repertoire, support high-pitched flute, violin held notes and astoundingly tight lyrical unison instrumental passages. Three southeastern United States square dance interpretations show a surprising traditional folk-dance similarity to them. There are Spanish cultural flavours with tight violin and flute playing over percussion grooves in the more contemporary sounding Cantiga 181 by Alfonso X El Sabio.
Hypnosis Negative is creating a brilliant traditional music future here, both on and off the dance floor!