Pianist Myra Melford first converged with violist/violinist Tanya Kalmanovitch on an unrehearsed duet at a 2003 festival. Their similar backgrounds-both played classical music before studying jazz-and individual senses of adventure make for a strong pairing. Sonically, some tracks barely exist: Faint, ghostly scrapes can be heard if the volume is increased. After a fierce, free exchange “(Into a Gunnysack and into the Kootenay River”), the duo switches gears with a dreamy canon (“The Kid on the Mountain”). Melford frequently picks up on her partner’s wild harmonics and deftly manipulates the strings of her instrument. Of the 19 tracks on Heart Mountain, seven of them clock in at less than two minutes; only two last longer than five.
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