10 PatternsPatterns – Chamber Works
Various Artists
Navona Records nv6243 (navonarecords.com)

A musical pattern may be a repeating or recurring rhythm, pitch, dynamic, instrumentation etc. A repeating pattern of surprisingly fascinating, contrasting music by seven composers for diverse small ensembles, including two solo guitar works, makes this an unexpected listening joy.

James William Stamm’s Asymmetry for guitar duet is upbeat with alternating broken chord figures and short melodic sections. Georges Raillard’s guitar solo Disintegration opens with tonal intervals which then change to contrasting strums and atonal intervals. Composer/guitarist Santiago Kodela’s three-movement/pattern solo-guitar work, Two Lords, opens with Of Textures, a rhythmic toe-tapping work with low tones and moving melody. The slower, edgier Of Colours has ringing contemplative guitar tones. The faster Of Mechanics features driving guitar grooves, pitches and repeated note patterns.

Now for percussion patterns. Daniel Adams’ two-marimba work Road Traversed and Reversed opens with attention-grabbing marimba rolls, then lots of exciting repeated notes, tight duet contrapuntal playing and grooves. David Arbury’s Four Snares has four snare drummers performing constantly on the move – snare rolls, effects, taps and dynamic variations.

Bunny Beck’s tango-flavoured expressive Suite for Sarro for string trio encompasses contemporary and Romantic sounds. Fun abounds in Jan Järvlepp’s Bassoon Quartet. The four bassoons emulate car sounds like short beeps in Cadillac. The slower Reaching showcases the instrument’s low pitch abilities. Danceable Jig is rewarding at the low pitch with twirling melodic patterns.

The pattern is completed with impeccable production and performances. Great, great, great!

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