Angharad Davies & Tisha Mukarji – Ffansïon | Fancies

(Another Timbre)

In spite of knowing each other since 2005, violinist Angharad Davies and pianist Tisha Mukarji don’t meet often; even more infrequently they commit their perlustration of echoing locations to tape, this being only the second time after 2007’s Endspace. In both cases, good old Simon Reynell — the man who has turned a considerable number of British crucifixes into witnesses of significant improvisational events — brought his recording gear to capture essential traces of their unstudied dialogue. In this particular instance the outcome reflects a sui generis seductiveness dressed in austere clothes.

In addition to five main segments named “Ffansi”, two shorter ones (“For Lucio” — Capece, I suppose but am not sure) are distinguished by clear discrepancies in terms of pitch duration and overall dynamics. In essence, the latter mostly comprise staccato punctuations, diverse gradations of corresponding tones, flickering luminescences and, in general, a higher degree of resonant fragmentariness. Definitely interesting, but the Fancies represent the most accurate portrait of the duo’s personality.

As a matter of fact, the kernel of Davies and Mukarji’s research lies in the interaction between themselves and the critically canorous features of London’s St Catherine’s Church. They just relinquish the self, and let the instruments do the talking. Either through fluttering shades of elongated whispers or via sparse chordal designs sustaining insistent arco work, these women come extremely close to the unexposed spot where every harmonic, including the less audible, counts exactly as the others during precious instants of meditative radiance. Still, no trace of ritualism. These sounds reward our attention without masked meanings, strongly informing the interplay while retaining their inherent characteristics. The musicians act as the proverbial conduit for the functional channeling of unattached forces, the resulting music a fine blend of conscious restraint and perceptible inquietude that leaves no opportunities for low-budget definitions.