Louise Bock, "Abyss: For Cello"
**The seventh installment in Geographic North’s long-running Sketch for Winter series, which highlights compositions intentionally crafted for the colder season.**
Louise Bock is the nom de guerre of Taralie Peterson, a venerable veteran of the American avant-garde. Whether solo or together with Ka Baird as Spires that in the Sunset Rise, Peterson has spent nearly two decades exploring the outermost limits of ecstatic, free jazz-influenced improvisation. The sonic range of Peterson's opulent oeuvre is matched only by the variety of instruments she employed, including but not limited to voice, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, banjo, lap harps, mbira, spike fiddle, and so on. Now, under the sobriquet Louise Bock and focusing solely on the cello, Peterson returns with Abyss: For Cello, a profound work of considered minimalism composed during and intended for the dead of winter.
Deciding to focus entirely on the cello, Peterson rid herself of any other self-imposed rules, analysis, and judgment that ultimately unlocked unforeseen revelations. Opener "Horologic" offers a sustained seethe of heaving, serrated textures. "Jute" offers a dynamic run of striated tones that slowly dissolve into a pool of peaceful resolve. "Actinic Ray" brings a kaleidoscopic blur that offsets heaving lurches of chordal sound with almost acrobatic flecks of melody. "Oolite," featuring Kendra Amalie on guitar, is an engrossingly unsettling piece of auditory hysteria, balancing a fascinating and fine line between allure and aversion. Closing track "Prithee" prolongs a potent interplay of deep, dense resonance and exquisitely elegant static.
Through these ruminations, Peterson's cello exposes immense beauty, sorrow, and joy that is altogether deeply hypnotic and discreetly haunting.
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