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Eclectic Chamber Music: Aranis

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ARANIS Made in Belguim (CD on Home Records)

This CD from 2012 features 61 minutes of novel chamber music.

Aranis is: Liesbeth Lambrecht (on violin and viola), Marjolein Cools (on accordion), Stijn Denys (on guitar), Ward de Vleeschhouwer (on piano), Joris Vanvinckenroye (on double bass), and Jana Arns (on flute and voice). Joining the band on certain tracks are: Trey Gunn (on touch guitar) and Pierre Chevalier (on piano).

For this release, Aranis enlisted the help of an assortment of noted Belgian composers: Daniel Denis, Roger Trigaux, Dick van der Harst, Geert Waegeman, Luc De Gezelle, Arne Van Dongen, Wouter Vandenabeele, Jan Kuijken, Joris Vanvinckenroye, and Ward De Vleeschhouwer.

Classical instruments conspire to produce modern chamber music of an eclectic nature.

The strings (violin and viola) achieve a state of fevered agitation as they belt out riffs of bizarre disposition. Thereƕs no attempt to restrain the strings to a background lilt; their wailing occupies center-stage with a demonstrative attitude.

Intricate piano contributes a lively mood that strives beyond classical into a realm of bewitching emotions with emphatic chords and fanciful delivery.

The bass provides a clean rumble that evokes a gutsy bottom.

Flute lends a whimsy to these otherwise serious compositions.

While there is an absence of conventional percussion, some instances feature tempos produced by the slapping of wooden instruments (notably the bass chamber).

The complex interplay of strings and keyboards results in tuneage of an engaging intellectual character. The songs flitter along with a solemn intensity seasoned with passion and a sense of experimentation (specifically pushing the genre of chamber music into highly progressive territory). The strong melodies possess a rolling movement that achieves a vivid state of propulsion.

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