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Runcible Quintet [FMRCD437]

These duo improvisations were originally made for the development of the soundtrack for SeŠn Martin and Louise Milneís 2011 documentary, A Boat Retold. A few short sequences made the final cut. Fortunately, we can hear on this album something close to its initial and fully realized form: a pair of aqueous, intimate and mes- merizing extemporaneous suites. Maggie Nicols, Iím told, came to the titleóor the title came to heróafter re- listening to the recordings. The music she and Peter Urpeth share combines the exploratory and the atten- tive, shifting between moments of assertion and accommodation, of provocation and conversation, of sounding out and listening in. The phrase Other Worlds suggests not only a combination of allure and unknow- ing, of the worldly and the strange, but also a search by the duo for its own nascent, unfolding narrative, sound- tracking their mutual reach toward each otherís sound- worlds and outward, together: an opening up to the tex- tures and audible flows of the living worlds around them. There are moments, at the beginning of the second piece, when the vocalist veers on her own into what seems like a kind of ur-Gaelic patter, syllables contingently and play- fully feeling their way into what might be meaning, but never quite arriving, never quite coming to ground. At least thatís what I hear, since I donít speak Gaelic. She offers us something just the other side of words, distilling a ludic alterity thatís sonically palpable in the edgy grain and in the throat- singing overtones that come and go along her sometimes fierce, some- times yielding melodic fractals. The piano functions as resonant accompa- niment, drawing out and layering har- moni

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