Laura Lilly's affinities and discipline run to the classicalist traditions. In these, she displays the acumen demanded of faithful recitals, which, in more modernist settings, as in the Leo Brouwer Etudes, can display some surprisingly contemporary dissonances and twists while preserving hoary tempi and resonances. A number of these songs are duets with Thereza Zacek Stephan on mandolin and violin, imbuing, for instance, Satie's famed Gymnopedie #1 and Tarrega's Recuerdos de la Alhambra with the mandolin's staccato refrains against Lilly's guitar for a fuller and more realized ambiance important to both. When the violin glides in elsewhere, Stephan demonstrates immense sympathies for a pureness of tone opening up the prairie skies and lamentations inherent in certain compositions. Lilly often tends to trancey repetitions in her own material and in cuts like Far as I can See, Near as I can Tell, the latter matrixing Stephan's mandolin for heightened contrast. Throughout this CD, expect somber wheatfield expositions as serious as "American Gothic" and as genuine as Fahey.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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