This recently released CD of Australian works is a pleasing addition to the recorded repertoire of local composers and is testament to the skills of the multi-talented and virtuosic performers Alicia Crossley and Joshua Hill. Blockstix Duo display not only wonderful technique and musicianship but the project itself shows them to be great supporters of our culture.
Crossley and Hill are both graduates from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and have mainstream careers in that city, but their vision is a national one in their collaboration with seven composers of differing approaches to music and composition.
…of magic and realism by Daniel Rojas fits into the easy listening category while Duo-Generare by Peter McNamara starts as if it wants to be music of a sombre nature before meandering into a simple rhythmic section that explores the colours of the bass recorder and marimba. Here and elsewhere the composers are so fortunate to have such committed and sensitive performers as Crossley and Hill. They create brooding colours, lightness and clarity and are always sensitive to the composer’s intentions.
Music that seems to let the performers decide its flow and content is Five Easy Pieces by Julian Day a sound artist who seems to eschew conventionality in his creations and allows non-determined events to shape the outcome.
The music of Damian Barbeler, Resonant Voice, inhabits the darkest world on this CD. As concert music it may not totally engage but in this digital era maybe the new audience consumes its sounds from a different starting place and Resonant Voice could easily charm in a private darkened space.
Also included are Auto Dafe Suite by Mark Oliveiro, Tim Hansen’s Pencils and Affirmations by Paul Cutlan – a work that shows all the hallmarks of a composer who enjoys the beauty of sound.
Good production values from sound engineers through to the CD designers.