Boomkat Product Review:
*Now remastered and beautifully repackaged with snowscape photography, on promising new label Home Normal* Sketches finds David Wenngren hooking up with cellist Danny Norbury, whose releases have previously graced labels as diverse as Static Caravan and Ono. After the ambiguous, droning intro 'Snowleaf', the two musicians gel together brilliantly on 'The First Day Of Spring', which over the course of ninety seconds finds Norbury's bow strokes swelling in an ambient pattern, while Wenngren's elegiac piano crumbles elegantly into the backdrop. From here on, it shows quite some skill that these two are able to find so many different ways of configuring an otherwise controlled palette. But for some subtle electronic modulation and occasional field recordings woven into the backdrop, the content is restricted to that combination of piano and cello, but thanks to the clever production and presentation, there's always an implication that there's more going on here than meets the ear. 'View From A Train 2' is composed from what is essentially the alternation between two very similar chords being keyed softly and slowly over two minutes, yet within these small gestures you'll hear a tangibly emotive power. This effect is only amplified further when Norbuy takes the lead, as on 'Fields', whose incredibly restrained, understated melodies never have to shout about how beautiful and instantly cinematic they are. Taking in eleven different sketches over twenty-five minutes, this release just flies by, but it also feels like it's covered an awful lot of ground by the time you arrive at the closing track 'First Day Of Winter', and this is most certainly one of those occasions when the phrase 'more than the sum of its parts' is applicable: Wenngren and Norbury have made something quietly expansive and deftly constructed from what essentially amounts to just two instruments. Lovely.