From the delicate minimalism of a single piano to the aching beauty of a string ensemble to the mysterious studio alchemy of the analog fused with the electronic, this is a selection of some particularly memorable journeys in modern classical music I enjoyed throughout the year.
See Stationary Travel's complete 2016 review here.
“One piano player. One percussionist.” With I Did That Tomorrow (2014), Rasa Daukus & Will Larsen as Tess Said So introduced their unique creative partnership, a vibrant collection of tracks that defied the apparent limitations of their chosen format. The same improvisational spirit, bold elegance, and impeccable musicianship that made such a resounding first impression on their debut shines just as brightly on Scramble + Fate...
Nostalgia and modernity meet in this category as each artist performs their musical alchemy with a menagerie of bowed & strung instruments, piano, or voice combined with only the most discreet use of electronics and percussion. Expressive minimalism, elegant compositions, and sublime beauty abound in these ten outstanding albums released in 2014.
Tess Said So refer to themselves simply as “an indie classical band…one piano player, one percussionist”. Not unlike their music, the description is concise, accurate, and lacking pretentiousness. But perhaps it does not convey the level of sophistication and inventiveness that is revealed in their debut album I Did That Tomorrow (released on Preserved Sound).
The piano player is Rasa Daukus, who is also currently the Director of Music at the University of Canberra in Australia. She is “inspired by the physicality of pulse and rhythm, the possibilities of pattern and repetition, and the emotive impact of sound”...
Tess Said So is made up of the Australia-based duo of percussionist/composer Will Larsen and pianist/composer Rasa Daukus. Their full length debut called I Did That Tomorrow will be released next week by Preserved Sound. About half the record can be previewed now on the Bandcamp site and the music I have heard so far is a wonderfully eclectic blend of classical, jazz, and experimental ambient styles that is hard to categorize, but is invigorating to listen to.