Move MCD 561
The members of Duo Blockstix are recorder player Alicia Crossley, the 2015 winner of Fine Music's Kruger Scholarship, and percussionist Joshua Hill. While their repertoire covers 800 years, this disc presents recent compositions by Australian composers and is the only disc in the Fine Music library (other than a couple of examples from Medieval and Renaissance times) which is devoted solely to a percussion and recorder duo.
Seven composers are represented on the album. This, together with the deployment of shifting combinations of recorder or bass recording with marimba and other percussion instruments, makes for a varied program.
The first piece is by Daniel Rojas, who was the former composer-in-residence with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and has performed in Fine Music's Founders Studio. His composition, ... of magic and realism, locates its forward momentum and tension in the hyperactive recorder part while the marimba provides a lyrical foil. Conversely Damian Barbeler's Resonant voice has the bass recorder providing a foundation while various metallic percussion instruments, notably cymbals, shimmer and clang in a musical stratosphere. Also of particular note is the second piece in Tim Hansen's Pencils: here, the sustained notes of the recorder and the busy marimba work suggest the immigrant slowly coming to terms with the unfamiliar bustle of a new city in a new land. In other pieces we find the striking use of bowed marimba and amplified bass recorder.
This is a highly desirable collection which mixes woody and metallic sounds, and leavens rhythmically complex material with evocative melodies.