Reviews are in for Ensemble Offspring’s recent Lone Hemispheres 2 concert featuring my percussion work, a line is a dot that went for a walk.
Claire Edwardes performed Tristan Coelho’s A line is a dot that went for a walk (2018) for vibraphone and other percussion. The title is a sentence from painter Paul Klee that inspired the composer; it fits well with Younan and Rickertson’s notes on structure. Coelho writes, “The piece, in two movements, counterposes a meditative and spacious style of music linked with nature against a groove/loop-based feel, playing with glitches and ‘hard cuts’, aligned with technology.” He adds “a nod to the classic vibraphone solo, Omar (1985), by Donatoni,” with which Edwardes will complete the concert. The first part of A line… feels gently conversational, lilting, sweetened with high note chiming and almost tripping into melody. It’s always spacious even when suddenly hesitant or urgent. Pronounced single drum beats, sharp loud/soft shifts and faster pacing make for a more driven, angular second part, until the last few minutes deliver a delicious return to the lyrical spirit of the contemplative first.
Edwardes demystified the space with a number of addresses to break up the music. She closed the evening with the first movement of Donatoni’s virtuosic Omar (1985), but its difficulty was not to be outdone by the second outing of Tristan Coelho’s A line is a dot that went for a walk (2018), which I had the pleasure of seeing at its premiere last year. It’s a very satisfying listen, and liable to become a classic for Edwardes.