Exciting, Kinetic Original Sounds from Diana Wayburn’s Dances of the World Chamber Orchestra
Composer/pianist/flutist Diana Wayburn’s lively, eclectic Dances of the World Chamber Orchestra play indie classical party music. Wayburn’s kinetic compositions draw from a vast array of global traditions. She employs interesting arrangements, unorthodox voicings and an ever-present element of surprise which is a good thing considering the hypnotic groove that anchors most of the intriguing tracks streaming at the ensemble’s Soundcloud page. Alongside Wayburn, the ensemble (whose lineup rotates from concert to concert) includes Domenica Fossati on flute, Hazy Malcolmson on bassoon, Arthur Moeller on violin, Adam Matthes on viola, Hamilton Berry on cello, John Murchison on bass, Ben Holmes on trumpet, Bert Hill on french horn, Spencer Hale on trombone and Yonatan Avi Oleiski on percussion. They’re at the Gershwin Hotel on 12/19 at 8 PM; cover is $10.
Pizzicato cello often provides the bassline or joins it on Wayburn’s looping rhythms, harmonies among the instruments growing more complex as the pieces go on. Check out Forest Conversations, a sort of Carnival of the Animals for the teens. It kicks off with a droll reggae groove anchoring muted pizzicato strings and then evolves to the point where all the happy woodland creatures are swirling, cavorting and marching around each other.
Labonie begins with a rather skeletal trance-dance minor-key groove and fleshes it out, trombone and flute in tandem leading the way to a cinematic sweep. Mendiani works a tricky, Ethiopian-flavored rhythm with airy harmonies overhead…and then the ensemble digs in for a big crescendo. The best number that the group has up now is Tango 2, which is actually closer to flamenco. Trombone solos alternate between mournful and more upbeat, the cello takes a bluesy solo, the horn goes into the baroque and eventually the percussion adds droll reggae flavor. Tbe last of the tracks that’s streaming right now is Tiriba, a dizzying, circularly polyrhythmic African-tinged piece that sets gleaming, resonant brass and wind harmonies over the tricky metrics.
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