Pauline Oliveros, David Rothenberg, Timothy Hill - Cicada Dream Band (CD Gruenrekorder)

Already familiar with some of Pauline Oliverosí work courtesy of a few solo accordion albums I own, only clarinetist David Rothenbergís name otherwise rings a distant bell here. Alongside Timothy Hillís addition of voice, used rather more as an instrument itself than to mouth anything even resembling lyrics, and some field recordings, all three artists weave a setting given to something caught between the theatrical, a late night cabaret club and primeval swamplands. Itís not a place that pulls you in completely to begin with, but as each of the eleven pieces unfurl the proceedings steadily become more engaging, especially when the voice is less overstated and used more sparingly. Like so much such music, however, this is not concerned with trifles such as accessibility. Instead, it courses on the deepest of emotions and those generally untapped areas of expression only too often pushed aside in favour of easier outlets. While Cicada Dream Band may sometimes lapse due to its very nature as improvisational music, itís hard not to respect those using this springboard who succeed in finding a common voice. On that count, this works completely. RJ.

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