Beth Custer Vinculum Symphony Live

A veteran of the Clubfoot Orchestra, Beth Custer is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and wayward musical spirit. That's evident from the experimental directions of her latest CD. If you have her previous releases, The Shirt I Live In and The Broken Fields Where I Lie, you will want this. Otherwise, if you admire the Harry Partch tradition of inventing your own instruments, you will need to hear the Weed Weasel or the Branching Corrugahorn. Or, if you dig audacious minimalism, you will marvel at the way Custer coaxes her symphony orchestra to recreate the sounds of a music box in "Brenda's Music Box." It's a vivid example of inspired fractal impressionism. Other highlights range from the oriental motif of "Viey," or the quasi-Latin vamp of "I've Heard It Before" to spiritual ballads like "Long Time Now" and "In The Broken Fields Where I Lie," where Beth sings her heart out. Let me sum up her musical universe in just two words: awesome, baby! (Independent)