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Mark Dresser/Frances-Marie Uitti: Sonomondo

Sonomondo is a duo recording of a seven-part suite by two of the most important contemporary string players in the world, both of whom have developed revolutionary extended techniques. Cellist Frances-Marie Uitti, known primarily in avant garde classical circles, invented a style of playing with two bows in her right hand, allowing her to create four-voiced chords and more when she uses multiphonics and harmonics. Dresser, with outstanding jazz and classical credentials, has also invented a number of new techniques involving microphone placement and the production of harmonics, stops and glissandi. At times he creates unusual effects by striking his strings with a serrated stick.

Dresser produces an enormous, powerful sonority, both arco and pizzicato; Uitti has a sweet tone. When playing together they can create a much wider variety of timbres than a conventional cello/bass duo could. But this recording is about more than technique. Uitti and Dresser, both accomplished improvisers, make music that ranges from lyrical to thunderous. Each rises to the challenge of playing with the other with creativity and imaginativeness.

Hopefully, this is what low string playing in the new century will be like.

Originally Published