Sarah Hennies: Composer, Vibraphone
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten: contrabass
Brent Fariss: contrabass
Chris Cogburn: percussion, sine waves
Jon Doyle: clarinet
Steve Parker: trombone
Travis Weller: violin
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Andrew Stoltz: Engineer, Mixer
A.F. Jones: Mastering
All Artwork: Rachael Elwell
Work is Hennies’ latest release and first for the revamped Quakebasket label and it consists of two pieces. The first is a ten-minute solo vibraphone piece called “Settle,” which as it evolves, brings out electrifying resonances that evoke the early piano music of Charlemagne Palestine or even the lush dogma of Brian Eno and Michael Nyman. Hennies has famously explored the shapely vibrational properties of woodblocks, making them truly sing in a way that few Western percussionist-composers have, so it should be no surprise that his coaxing of metal lamellae, cylinders and sustain pedal would result in a panoply of interlocking and unfolding shapes. These shapes are patently the result of refined action – striking, damping, and measuring intervals – but reducing their behavior to stimulus and response oversimplifies the comely beauty that his instrument produces.
Simply put, work is process and one of Hennies’ goals as a composer is to shape the possibilities of a given instrument as well as its sonic imprint. The result is austere, lyrical solo percussion music that focuses on resonance, natural overtones, room acoustics and slowly developing structure.