AN accumulation of creativity, spontaneity and vibrancy, this double CD is the deeply satisfying result of a Sydney Opera House Studio session and a weekend live at Sydney’s Sound Lounge, both recorded in 2008.
With no agenda in the studio “except to allow the music to come through”, Mike Nock on piano, Ben Waples on double bass and brother James on drums, converse with compelling clarity and understanding that taps the source of great art. Notes in Joyous Awakening hang suspended, their beauty in simplicity and gentle dissonance. The fragmentary Rite of Passage evokes the birth of music as if from a primeval swamp.
The live pieces are equally eclectic, moving from the evolving patterns and tempos of Elsewhen, through the upbeat Beautiful Stranger to the expansive, lyrical ballad The Wind. Nock’s A Tree Has Its Heart In Its Roots is a triumph of strength and fragility, sustaining depth and compelling intricacy.
File beside: Paul Grabowsky
Download: Joyous Awakening
A slightly shorter version of this review was published in the Sunday Herald Sun’s Play liftout on July 11, 2010