Pomegranate This Illusion Sound

Cross-genre collaborations are by no means restricted within one artistic field, so it's no surprise that every once in a while musicians create a sound collage that is an aural interpretation of a film or dance piece. Glasgow's Pomegranate began in '95 when its mastermind Stef McGlinchey composed a piece of music as an accompaniment to a performance in which Vanessa Rigg was performer, singer and viola player. The combination worked and led to This Illusion Sound, an intensely quiet affair that creeps into the room like cool autumnal air. An apt comparison would be some of the blue-hued scenes from Robert Lepage's film Le Confessionnal, with its atmospheric soundtrack, and so it is with Pomegranate's dark wanderings. McGlinchey's production and mixing is masterful, often bearing in mind a theatre or installation setting. Equally, Vanessa Rigg's vocals are not excessively sensuous or imitative of what is expected from female vocals in the ambient/trip-hop genre. She sounds like the sadder, more pensive version of Shirley Simms or Claudia Gonson - both vocalists for Magnetic Fields. Instrumental experimentation is also sophisticated, as in "Blue Days Fade," which has a gamelan-like melody and muddy percussion sound. To add to the eerie quality, "Come 2 Me" has a simple piano piece that is given a grainy sound quality. In the short piece called "And-Money," a cello is used minimally but with remarkable finesse. Pomegranate are a promising duo, and with their continuing interest in doing sound for dance or installation pieces, chances of further venturing into experimental territory are great. (Independent)