Jonathan Nangle: Pause

Reviewed on Fri 07 Jul, 2017

A tentative dialogue between viola and cello, ‘My heart stopped a thousand beats’ carries itself with meditative and confessional intensity.

Delve into the title track of Jonathan Nangle’s hypnotic ‘Pause’ and you’ll find the ghost of Charles Ives. Prompted by two bars in the third movement of the ‘Concord Sonata’ and data glitches in music and visual media, it’s an exercise in elasticated interruption, momentary stillness disturbed and broken by unexpected disturbances both glancing and reiterated, random and meaningful. The result is a fractured kaleidoscope, a broken mirror in music. The ‘Fragment’ pairing borrows material to further splinter things in concentrated improvisations. ‘Where distant city lights flicker on half-frozen ponds’ is musical oil on water: a plaintive theme and variations as fragile as the surface colours it vainly celebrates. A tentative dialogue between viola and cello, ‘My heart stopped a thousand beats’ carries itself with meditative and confessional intensity. The animated, electronics-adorned ‘Tessellate’ finds patterns forming and instantly re-forming to build, shatter and re-build a layered agglomeration of ever-more complicated patterns. The Crash Ensemble play with articulate verve and sensitivity, recorded sound is exemplary.
–Michael Quinn