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Warren & Samolis: Bowed Metal Music

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Album Review

On Bowed Metal Music, Peter Warren and Matt Samolis both play what they call steel cellos. This instrument is a piece of curved sheet metal, to which are attached various cymbals on each side and tuned steel rods on top. It is played with a bow, and once it is set into vibration it produces complex harmonic resonances and metallic timbres. The music on this CD is actually one continuous performance (64 minutes long), with indexes added for convenience. The music changes very slowly, as both players activate or enhance various sections of the monster, creating different harmonics. Every change is achieved slowly, the accomplishment being to be able to keep the steel cello in motion for such a long time. Depending on your resistance to high-pitched tones and metallic sounds, you will find this music either fascinating and meditative or unnerving and displeasing. The fact that there are no samplers, meaning that the sounds are not sustained electronically, and only two musicians involved in these rich soundscapes defy common sense. Yet, Bowed Metal Music is a rather static piece. It still holds a few surprises though, like that loud low tone coming out of nowhere in the middle of the third index. The result recalls Paul Panhuysen's gigantic resonating strings documented on Partitas for Long Strings (on XI Records). ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: November 21, 1935 in Hempstead, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Peter Warren's work on bass and cello reached a sizeable audience via his membership in drummer Jack DeJohnette's ensembles beginning in the mid-'70s. DeJohnette's Special Edition band recorded some of the more critically acclaimed jazz of the late '70s and early '80s; Warren played on the albums Special Edition and Tin Can Alley (both ECM), made during the group's most avant-garde phase. Warren played cello in his youth; he debuted at Carnegie Hall at 17 and attended the Juilliard School in New...
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Warren & Samolis: Bowed Metal Music, Peter Warren
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