"...vast in scope...as wizardly a soundtrack to the Harry Potter books as one could hope for..." --Mitch Ritter / DIRTY LINEN Dec 00-Jan 01 #91
See Complete Review below...
The maestro of Bay Area mass transit, Michael Masley (pronounced MAZE-lee) reappears all by his lonesome after a passage through DARK MATTER. That 1998 collaboration with space bassist Michael Manring, cellist Dan Reiter, guitarist and longtime musical partner Barry Cleveland, and dulcimer/percussionist Joe Venegoni in a visionary instrumental ensemble called Cloud Chamber held its musical center long enough to generate word of mouth beyond the cloistered new age community.
CYMBALENNIUM is a solo outing. But with his collapsible Gypsy symphony, namely the modified Magyar (Hungarian) cymbalom (a concert-scaled trapezoidal wood and gut-strung descendant of the Persian santour that Masley uniquely finesses in an approach he calls PBS--plucked, bowed, and struck), this recording is vast in scope. Masley's garage recording set-up and conceptual approach to multi-tracking and harmonics makes this as wizardly a soundtrack to the Harry Potter books as one could hope for.
"Kubrick's Tube" is less a cinematic homage to an isolated creep and more of a lovely chiming evocation readily recalling, say, the ancient Serbian Orthodox Church and cobblestone courtyard at Szent Endre (St. Andre) along the Danube Riverbanks in Hungary. "Burying the Dread" is elegant in its carefully composed tones that vaporize harmonic clutter, without abandoning Masley's explorations of found sound. The triad of "Humanly Possible", "Meltwater Falls", and "Either Oar" play mystically on Masley's 10-fingered bowhammers (tiny horsehair bows attached to mallet-like extenders and clipped to each finger). Dem's some fine sonic dynamics!
--Mitch Ritter / DIRTY LINEN Dec 00-Jan 01 #91
"...one of our more unique artists...Masley finds a global balance, with hypnotic results that transport the listener...on the fast track to another world..." --Lloyde Barde / COMMON GROUND Fall 2000
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