Zachary Wood and Ben Roidl-Ward “arb”

I’ve been having a real bassoon renaissance the past month or so and my obsession led me to this gem from bassoonist Ben Roidl-Ward and clarinetist Zachary Good (plus, another mention of Dana Jessen’s incredible Winter Chapel, also on Carrier). With arb the two grind out deep, hollow drones. There’s this wonderful quality to these pieces where the timbres of the two instruments interact in unexpected ways, shifting like the uneasy hull of a shape, bending and fluctuating with with the movement of the drawn out tones. At times it’s beautiful and melancholic, as on the title track, while other tracks, especially “Guby,” get downright weird and hypnotizing. Simple approaches and stripped down instrumentation are just a cover for these complex, wonderful pieces of music. I hope these two work together again in the future.

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