Fitkin ¥ Wall

COMPOSERS: Fitkin,Wall
LABELS: GFR
ALBUM TITLE: Fitkin , Wall
WORKS: Still Warm
PERFORMER: Ruth Wall (harp), Graham Fitkin (keyboard)
CATALOGUE NO: GRCD 060706
This is probably as close as a disc of works by one composer and one guest instrumentalist can get to being an out-and-out collaboration. The knowingly-executed scores are Fitkin’s, but performance and production are both credited to the duo, with the presence of Ruth Wall’s contribution on various traditional harps having clearly informed Fitkin’s approach. This retains much of its customary rhythmic style but with the necessary textural and dynamic adjustments needed to accommodate a harpist, easily accomplished through Fitkin’s judicious use of keyboards and (presumably) software instruments.

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There are two particular attractions to this sonically immaculate CD as a whole. Firstly, the harp as an instrument lends itself extraordinarily well to this kind of music because of its physical construction, which virtually demands plangent chords, arpeggios and harmonics, thus providing a scintillating contrast to Fitkin’s arty electronica. Secondly, Fitkin takes great delight in avoiding the facile, using skewed countermelodies, scattershot percussion sounds and deliberately out-of-kilter timings to subvert any hint of the overchilled.

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Roger Thomas