Jessica Pavone

Songs of Synastry and Solitude

BY Nilan PereraPublished Sep 28, 2009

This release is an improviser's foray into composed material through the lens of a songwriter's aesthetic. Violist Jessica Pavone's influence in this regard was Leonard Cohen's Songs of Love and Hate. In this release, she has presented compositions that are simple and stately, with a sombre grace that stands in wary contrast to Cohen's finite pronouncements. The thoroughness and narrative direction of a songwriter inform her work, much as a good folk song would, and her more extended explorations into structure, such as "Ruala," maintain a strong thematic feel. The quartet pieces are performed with sensitivity and rigor by members of the Toomai String quintet, projecting a sober view softened occasionally by a considered wistfulness. Improvisation doesn't enter into this world by design but rather as a memory of the process of ordering one's thoughts. Pavone's music reflects an austere but tender landscape where watchfulness orders reality.

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