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|Claes Pearce||violin, electric viola|
|Stephen Berry||acoustic guitar|
|Mark Robson||didjeridu (on track 7 only)|
|Steve Elphick||acoustic bass|
CD, Playing time --:-- minutes
(1996) Celestial Harmonies - 13122-2
Coolangubra was formed in 1989 amidst a campaign to stop logging in a small forest in southeastern Australia. The members adopted the Aboriginal name of the forest, Coolangubra, which means skull of kangaroo. Since then, Coolangubra has evolved as one of Australia's most distinctive and unique music ensembles and continues to promote environmental awareness through the inspirations of much of their music. Most listeners first notice the distinctive sound of Claes Pearce on violin and electric viola. She plays with a remarkable, almost vocal sound, giving Coolangubra its emotional depth. Pearce can be heard in many settings from free jazz to mainstream pop. She has played with member Greg Sheehan in jazz and rock groups since the early seventies. Stephen Berry is a two-time national champion in bluegrass guitar competition, and developed a strong rhythmic style that leaves traditional bluegrass picking behind. His performance on the acoustic guitar adds a dynamic exponent to the group. His role in the group has been described as supportive and anchoring. Greg Sheehan is a fearless percussionist and can produce a beat out of most any object he sees, including squeaky toys and kitchen implements. He provides fire and excitement to this vibrant group. He has played with a number of Australian groups, and has written and performed music for theater and dance. Guest artists include Mark Robson on didgeridoo and Steve Elphick on acoustic bass. Evolving from their earlier recordings, STORM COMING and self-titled COOLANGUBRA, SPIRIT TALK is a powerfully soulful and reflective blend of jazz and contemporary music that captures the heart and wets the appetite of the soul. A combination that is sure to have listeners heartfully begging for more. Distinctive and reflective of Coolangubra's music, the recording opens with the self-titled track with the powerful crys and dynamic emotional depth of the violin. Claes Pearce, poignantly stirs our auditory senses with a powerfully heartfelt journey. Pattugalan which means "quick! Jump back on the track - there may be a snake coming!" is full of adventure and discovery, quickly moving to the dramatic beginning of Five White Petals which is an improvisation of a poem. Deep and Affirmations are also improvisations that incorporate vocals and the vocal-like cry of the violin for more expressive and reflective depth. Warm Heart sings with the soft and soothing voice of the violin with a beautiful melody that, as the title implies, warms the heart. This is an appropriate lead in to Cemetery Road which expresses the paradox of such beauty and suffering in the world while strolling down a cemetery road. To The Waterhole features an entrancing melody with the acoustic guitar taking center stage. Thoughtfully created, Coolangubra reaches emotional depths in the beautiful melodies of SPIRIT TALK with the violin, acoustic guitar and kaleidoscope of percussion instruments combining elements of folk, bluegrass, non-Western, and chamber music emotional expression, reflection, meditation, adventure and drama, encased in remarkable melodies.
Reviewer: Celestial Harmonies