Of minutiae and memory
Jody Redhage; cellist (New Amsterdam)
Cellist-singer-composer Jody Redhage’s distinctive, discerning taste and her masterful command of her instrument make her new, electronics-heavy recording one of the most memorable of the year so far.
While immediately accessible, the works by various composers (not herself) compel full attention with optimal use of genre-defying instrumentation.
Ryan Brown’s “the light by which she may have ascended" exemplifies the unusual juxtapositions that fill the compilation as what sounds like playground noise is matched by a stately, meditative cello part featuring a simple motive repeated, layered and developed — elegant order amid chaos.
Anna Clyne’s anxious “Paintbox" uses amplified gasps within a fabric of fidgety beats and deep, slightly ominous cello and a brief choral interlude. In its urgency and sonic palette, it makes for a smooth transition into the title work by Paula Matthusen, which draws heavily on Medieval-style chant.
Redhage’s pure, girlish voice is at its best in Derek Muro’s “Did You See Me Walking," a meandering, folk-inflected melody over light accompaniment mixing sustained tones with rippling plucked passages.
— Ronni Reich