Sunday, May 24, 2015

NZ Music Month: Colin Hemmingsen & Dave Lisik - Fate and the Processor

For the latest instalment of NZ Music Month posts (Here are Part 1 and Part 2), I have been listening to one of the stalwarts of the New Zealand jazz scene paired with a recent transplant from Canada.

NZ Jazz New Zealand Jazz
Colin Hemmingsen & Dave Lisik - Fate and the Processor (Rattle) 2011. 

In comparison to Colin’s other recordings Fate and the Processor stands out as being the most “different.” Is it jazz? I'll say yes (although Rattle didn't release it on their jazz imprint). I find the album is best absorbed in one sitting and at 48 minutes this is very manageable. In fact, it is rare for me to put this album on just to listen to one track. I'm not all that sure why - perhaps it is the suite-like nature of the work.
While the album is adventurous, I still find it very listenable - perhaps in part due to Colin's melodic conception, which has got hold of me as I've listened this month. Colin provides all of the source sounds from his arsenal of woodwinds (tenor & soprano sax, clarinet & bass clarinet, bassoon) which were then arranged and shaped into the final album by Lisik and his computer. At times the sounds are largely acoustic, layered on top of each other. At other times the acoustic tones of Hemmingsen are blended with varying degrees of electro-acoustic manipulations from Lisik. There is plenty of variety as far as texture and density which helps the music from getting bogged down. Each time I return to the album I continue to notice things I missed previously, which makes for rewarding listening.

All in all, it's nice to hear Colin reaching out into areas I hadn't associated with him before hearing this album. Listening to Fate and the Processor leaves me wanting to hear Colin record with acoustic group playing free improvisations.
New Zealand Jazz

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