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(1998) Black Sun - number not known
A cultural ambassador for Australia, world renowned didjeridu master Alan Dargin learned to play the didj at the age of five. Taught by his grandfather, he learned on a didj made from a now extinct species of bloodwood tree, a eucalyptus which bleeds red sap when cut. He has played with orchestras, jazz groups and techno musicians. Alan is also an actor. One of his goals is to make the didjeridu a respected and understood instrument on the world stage, encouraging audiences to appreciate the didjeridu as having both a sacred and a secular role in indigenous Australian music.
Michael Atherton, an internationally travelled performer, composer and author of books on musical instruments, is a true multi-instrumentalist. First mastering the classical guitar and lute, he has played in early music ensembles, art rock bands, multicultural groups and chamber ensembles. Michael is also an accomplished composer for the screen and writes chamber music. Since 1993, Michael has served as a Foundation Professor at the University of Western Sydney, Nepean, to set up a music department committed to a twentieth century focus, to music technology, hybrid performance and to scholarly research in Australian music.
CROSS + HATCH is the second CD collaboration between Alan Dargin and Michael Atherton, following their first release BLOODWOOD, an unedited, real-time performance aimed at articulating complex patterns. CROSS + HATCH pursues Dargin's and Atherton's interest in exploring the studio as a space for improvised duets and multi-instrumental pieces.
Thematically, the landscape of Australia remains a source of inspiration, as well as the sounds of multicultural, urban Australiaa country which supports cultural diversity as a matter of government policy.
It's not surprising that such a rich musical environment should influence the artists musical ideas. Pieces such as Afrodidj and Crossings have grown out of a passion for Afro-Caribbean musics. Other influences can be heard in Ketuk, an improvisation mixing didjeridu with Pejogedan gamelan instruments. Additional tracks such as Sunshower have been assisted by the high standard of instrument making in Australia. In this case, a hand-crafted guitar is combined with a rare didjeridu from Oenpelli, Arnhem land. Gingjunggang (Kununurra language, Western Australia), which completes the recording, takes its title from one of the many known words for didjeridu. A delicious treat for didj lovers, this is an continuous impromptu piece (nearly 16 minutes long) by Dargin, recorded without interruption, exploring different tempi and changes of texture, as if to reflect the daily life cycle of the bush.
In addition, two tracks are reissued from the BLOODWOOD album (which is no longer available) including Storm Warning, an essay conjuring the vast and sometimes foreboding natural phenomena of tropical Australia, for some a frontier of paradoxical beauty, both delicate and jangling in its vastness.
Reviewer: Celestial Harmonies
Alan Dargin has an "new" CD available ... called "Cross+Hatch" with Michael Atherton. I put new in quotes because the copyright says 1997, but this was the first I've seen this CD.
It has 2 pieces from "Bloodwood" (allegedly because Bloodwood is no longer in print) Virtuoso Didj and Storm Warning. I'm glad, because most of the other stuff on Bloodwood is disappointing to me. The other cuts on this CD are previously unreleased.
There is a SUPERB solo on the last track ... Ginjunggang ... if I remember correctly it's about 16 minutes long! Here's a quote:
"Gingjunggang (Kununurra language, Western Australia), which completes the recording, takes its title from one of the many known words for didjeridu. A delicious treat for didj lovers, this is an continuous impromptu piece (nearly 16 minutes long) by Dargin, recorded without interruption, exploring different tempi and changes of texture, as if to reflect the daily life cycle of the bush."
Enjoy this one ... I did.
Reviewer: John Madill