Veiled

by Joanna Mattrey

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    Veiled gives us a look at Mattrey alone and untethered, following her muses. On "Ferver" Mattrey submerges the listener beneath a bed of undulating and wiry currents countered with a distinct, throbbing undertow. During the second half her pace slows and the resulting din she conjures serves as a portent for things to come. For "So close to the surface" Mattrey scrapes noisy, flowing, and effortlessly emotive lines from her instrument while a frayed drone glows against the dancing pitches. On "Stroh" she weaves an open-ended, melodically proportionate tone poem. The piece lingers somewhere in the fibrous layers that hold fruit to the rind, mainly structural but with intermittent hints of sweetness. Similarly "Waza" is a short, unapologetically wiry and frizzy construction of bow scrape and multiphonics. The abrupt pizzicato of "Shackles" permits an unexpected and slightly jarring shift in texture, where all at once the gauzy layers of the previous tracks condense to the sound of popcorn night at the rubber band factory. The second half starts with "A mouthful of dirt" which wails its lament from the start before briefly (suddenly) receding into a hushed micro-dialogue and a powerful reprise. I think the next piece, "Come to bury to exhume" is my favorite of the collection. Though there is constant motion I feel like so much more is hinted at than actually played. Almost like pieces are missing, but enough is given to discern their shapes. The short "Grey Eyes" cuts an icy figure against the previous piece, setting it's jarring pizzicato to a continuous, brittle scrape of rosined hair. "For the Thrall" starts out playfully percussive, gradually layering on warped abstractions that squeak, hiccup, and howl. The closer "Descant" is the final and longest piece of the collection. The first half of the dirge is mostly build-up, with Mattrey working momentum into her static arco before pushing into more uncertain territory where, similar to "Come to bury to exhume", she shades in darkness to elevate the light. Fantastic. Nick Metzger ... more
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1.
Ferver 03:59
2.
3.
Stroh 05:37
4.
Waza 02:28
5.
Shackled 01:06
6.
7.
8.
Grey Eyes 01:28
9.
10.
Descant 07:35

about

Active in both the new music and free improvisation communities, Joanna Mattrey is a violist and composer who often incorporates textural gestures, preparations, and electronic alterations, searching for moments of ceremony and ritual in modern soundscapes. Mattrey has played with such luminaries as Marc Ribot and the Young Philadelphians, Mary Halvorson, John Zorn, Erik Friedlander, Nick Dunston, and others among New York City's Downtown scene. Recorded at GSI Studios in April 2019, "Veiled" is Mattrey’s first solo release.

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released March 23, 2020

Joanna Mattrey - Viola, Stroh Violin

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Relative Pitch Records New York, New York

NYC-based independent record label specializing in avant-garde, free jazz, free improvisation, experimental.

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