COMPOSERS: Janel and Anthony
LABELS: Cuneform Records
ALBUM TITLE: Janel & Anthony Where is Home
WORKS: Where is Home
PERFORMER: Janel Leppin (cello) and Anthony Pirog (guitar)
CATALOGUE NO: RUNE338
Leppin and Pirog, who play a broad range of stringed, percussion and electronic instruments, have studied and played in numerous, widely varied genres, and exhibit the influence of most of them here. But whatever heading you try and file Where Is Home under proves inadequate. The opening track, ‘Big Sur’, evokes the jazz-rock Mahavishnu Orchestra, before we are taken into ‘The Clearing’, surrounded by electroacoustic sounds harking back to musique concrète, conjuring the spirit of French composer Pierre Schaeffer.
Most of the tracks are short and ‘Auburn Road’ is just 43 seconds. Its graceful cello melody could have borne further exploration. Likewise, with ‘Stay With Me’ (51 seconds) and ‘Symphony Hills’ (just over a minute) I wished the duo had extended them, especially as some compositions (like ‘Mustang Song’) were less interesting but longer. Altogether, though, a beguiling and thoughtfully crafted album: just don’t expect any swing or bop!