(Creative Sources)


If a spider made a sound while spinning a web (beyond the odd arachnid expletive) it may resemble May as Well Be Infinity, a Sam Gill piece in which skittering improvising unwinds to a wispy dialogue between his own alto and Phillippa Murphy-Haste’s clarinet. One readily hears Microfiche’s music in programmatic or filmic terms, so good are the players at crafting contrast and suspense.

The tension on the aptly-named Spectre has Max Alduca’s double bass and Holly Conner’s drums driving us forward, while Novak Manjlovic’s piano dances around their insistence with pools of disquiet, and Gill, Murphy-Haste and trumpeter Nick Calligeros release mournful cries. When the rhythm section drops out, the horns and piano dart in and out of a suddenly pervasive silence, which gradually fills with peculiarly melodic pointillism, before the suspense returns, and repeated motifs (almost played in rounds) build not to a climax, but a denouement of profound beauty that gradually sours with dissonance. This blurred composed/improvised music comes from highly original minds, with all nine pieces containing compulsive narratives and unique sound worlds, aided by guest cellist Freya Schack-Arnott.