Susie Hodder-Williams & Chris Caldwell with Graham Roberts
Music from the subtle side of things. This trio met in the Tuscan village of Batignano while playing for its annual Opera Festival. The combination of flute, guitar and bass clarinet/soprano saxophone perform its own unique adaptions of music that encompass a wide variety of influences from Medieval Gregorian Chants, to the music of Bach and Purcell, and the flavours of South America and beyond.
like medieval chamber music, yet more restrained
Downtown Music Gallery, New York
In 2010 the trio commissioned Stephen Goss to write a new work called Northern Lights. They recorded a CD of his music in September 2010, for FMR records, which was launched at the Guildford International Festival in the Spring 2011.
Individually Susie, Chris & Graham have performed at major festivals around the world, notably the Salzburg Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival, and the BBC Proms; they have been heard on BBC Radio 3's Late Junction and In Tune and on Classic FM.
Last season, they performed at music clubs in Wales, Scotland & England and at the Guildford International Festival. They have worked as part of the International Guitar Festival at Dillington House giving masterclasses and recitals.
"Their programming is fresh and dynamic."
"I don't think I've ever enjoyed a more varied and innovative music's entertainment"
"The ethereal sound weaved its magic through the church, reminiscent of the haunting improvisations of Jan Garbarek..."
Susie Hodder-Williams & Chris Caldwell with Graham Roberts (2011)
I wasn't familiar with Stephen Goss before this but I am most impressed by his music here. There are some 19 pieces on this disc for trio, duo and solo flute. The title piece, "Northern Lights" begins stark with each note carefully placed. The trio of flute, bass clarinet and acoustic guitar is warm and enticing on the second section, similar to the more melodic parts of Oregon. There is a suite called "Welsh Folksongs" which is somber and quite lovely when it begins and then becomes more lively and intense as it evolves. The final suite is called "Reflections on 'The Garden of Cosmic Speculation'" and it not as hokey as it sounds. Parts sound like medieval chamber music, yet more restrained with some more delicate and contemplative sections. For me, it was nice to hear music from the subtle side of things even with those brief moments bristling intensity.
29/04/2011 Downtown Music Gallery, New York Bruce Lee Gallanter
**** Rendered here in woodwind tones and acoustic guitar, the ambient landscape compositions of Stephen Goss exist in the grey area where ECM chamber-jazz and Hathut minimalism shades into Windham Hill new-ageism. At its best, it's utterly captivating: the solo flute piece "The Sea of the Edge" is as hauntingly desolate as the moon feature after which it's named, and the four-part suite "Northern Lights" hangs like East Coast fog, clarinet and flute in sparse, unhurried collusion akin to a meditative Feldman work. And the transcription to flute, guitar and clarinet works particularly well on the eight-part "Reflections on the Garden of Cosmic Speculation".
10/06/2011 The Independent Andy Gill