Monday, October 17, 2011

Bruce Arnold and Dusan Bogdanovic, "Aspiration": Advanced Acoustic Guitar Duets

Aspiration (Muse Eek 129) is an interesting series of free improv acoustic guitar duets that came about when Bruce Arnold and Dusan Bogdanovic chanced to jam together and realized their affinities. The result is a wide ranging set of 18 duets that reference everything from early music lute to Spanish classical to the nether realms of advanced jazz.

Sometimes the music has the periodicity of rain falling, gentle notes sounding interesting combinations, drawing together and pulling apart as scattered punctual points on a broad field. Other times there are motives that one may suggest and the other react to.

Throughout the course of the set Arnold and Bogdanovic enter some rarified aural realms in excellent fashion. There is a sheer visceral element, an obvious love for the simultaneous double melody line and the variety of sounds the two acoustics can express in the duet situation.

The music is of such an unusual caste that it defies easy description. It is broadly tonal, brilliantly spontaneous and thoroughly open ended. There is a gentle freedom that will make this an accessible offering for even those who tend to be put off by the more assertive variety of free improv. For the rest of us there is much to appreciate as well.

Not your everyday fare and all the more interesting for it. Give it a listen by all means.

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