Drones And Viola - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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Nico Muhly

Drones And Viola


Published June 14, 2013

‘Drones And Viola’ is the second of three releases in Muhly’s “Drones” series. It again features Bruce Brubaker on piano, this time accompanied by Nadia Sirota on Viola.
It feels like a far more measured affair than its predecessor, ‘Drones And Piano,’ opening with the elegiac

“Part I Material In D” and maintaining a similar feel throughout this EP. There are more aggressive moments, like the back and forth between Sirota’s urgent viola jabs, and exaggerated gasps for breath in “Part II Material In A Handsome Stack,” but in the main this EP feels more restrained.

Nico Muhly describes this project as a method of developing harmonic ideas over a static structure. Thus far there seems to be a nice development across the EPs. Whereas ‘Drones And Piano’ felt somewhat like Nico was throwing all of the notes at the stave to experiment and see what stuck, on ‘Drones and Viola’ he seems to have settled on predominantly using those that stuck. It is all the better for it.

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