London-based violinist Alison Blunt and Austrian pianist-composer Elisabeth Harnik have worked together continuously in the last decade, first in the free-improvising Barcode Quartet and later in the hommage project for Gertrude Stein, «Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose …». Blunt and Harnik wanted to frame their first duo album «Morphic Resonance And Other Habits Of Nature» in a different manner and invited ecologist Pete Flood (known also as the percussionist of the British folk groups Bellowhead and Oysterband) to write the liner notes.
Flood images the spontaneous improvisations of Blunt and Harnik, with no overdubs, no plan or road map, to a colorful ecology of fauna and flora, branching gently, feeding and supporting each other. The titles of all the pieces, recorded at Kunsthaltestelle Streckhammerhaus, Austria in November 2018 and released in a limited edition disc of 300 copies (with download option), reference transient natural sceneries, stressed by with the cover art depicting the stranded, skeleton of an old piano in the middle of a forest. This kind of framing highlights the organic, almost telepathic interplay that Blunt and Harnik have developed, but also point to the strong connection that we all have to the surrounding nature.
Blunt and Harnik are well-versed in the art of the moment and know how to shape their immediate, free-associative ideas and delicate, acoustic atmosphere into coherent, suggestive and rich compositions. Take, for example, the lyrical-folky «Wolf Lament», with its twisted overtones and noises, or the exotic-Eastern «Alarm Of Skaftáreldur» and you may find yourself imagining a colorful, cinematic story. But Blunt and Harnik are also eager to explore dissonant, tense and chaotic textures on «Perilous Escape», employing extended bowing and inside-the-piano percussive techniques, often enjoy the playfulness of exciting, fresh sounds as on «A Bird Dreams of Flying» and «On Deck» or patiently sketching dream-like imagery on «Advance Warning».
Alison Blunt (vio), Elisabeth Harnik (p)