Panghalina is the Filipino word for magnetism. It is also the name of an Australian trio that features a few of the emergent voices of the continent in the realms of free improvisation, extended bowing, percussive and vocal techniques and unconventional song form – drummer-synth player Maria Moles, drummer-vocalist Bonnie Stewart and double bass player-vocalist Helen Svoboda. True to its name, Panghalina created a gravitational orbit around each other’s personal practices.
Lava is the debut album of Panghalina. The eight pieces were composed by Panghalina, true to the communal dynamics of the trio, and all were conceived as an ode to the connections between sound, emotion and human experience. The sonic language of the trio is atmospheric, harmonic and exploratory. But the overlapping duos within the trio’s dynamics allow Moles, Stewart and Svoboda to weave their distinct sonic languages into the improvised pieces that become instant compositions.
The atmosphere of Lava is subdued, unhurried and spiritual, and the eight pieces sound like part of a cycle of mysterious and intimate, feminine ritual that celebrates the immediate and deep alignment of artistic kinship. You can feel how the gentle and caressing, resonant sounds and intoxicating grooves of the double bass, wordless voices and drum kits meld together, like lava that springs from a terrestrial planet and finds its own beautiful sonic landscapes.
Helen Svoboda (double bass, vocals), Bonnie Stewart (drum kit, vocals), Maria Moles (drum kit, synthesizer)