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melissa st pierre - Specimens
A friend of harp-destroyer and fellow Table of the Elements lady Zeena Parkins, Melissa St. Pierre takes a similar pleasure in eliciting sounds from her instrument that one never really associates with it. The instrument in question here is the piano and St. Pierre has clearly prepared it with all manner of oddities resulting in the sort of avant clatter you might more readily associated with experimental music of the early 20th century. Her sound is one of an intergalactic gamelan orchestra by way of Stomp! and little can distract from the clatter and clang of her rhythms and timbre. It's arresting stuff from beginning to end and what the record loses in length (it clocks in at a paltry sixteen minutes) it makes up for in sheer balls. The press release compares St. Pierre's sound to that of Voodoo drums, and who am I to disagree? Mystical stuff for sure, and while not for everyone the more adventurous among you will no doubt get a kick out of 'Specimens'. Very good indeed.