Frozen Light – FZL 041
There’s something mildly irksome about the phrase ‘tickling the ivories’. It’s perhaps a strange personal quirk, but perhaps it’s the louche thespy associations of the phrase which are so bothersome. There’s also the fact that the phrase really fails to convey what’s truly involved in the act of playing the piano. Well, that’s usually the case. But much of the music on Sanctuary sounds very much like the tickling of ivories. Often quiet, delicate, light, tentative and experimental piano notes flit here and there, forming irregular patterns in the air. There are passages of haunting melody, with wavering drones quivering tremulously. There are also scraping strings, trilling woodwind and stomping elephantine rhythms passing through the protracted periods of hush. But first and foremost, it’s about the ivories, and there’s nothing remotely irksome about it.