Lisa Moore, Stainless Staining

Steve Holtje

By Steve Holtje

on 07.30.12 in Reviews

Stainless Staining completes Lisa Moore’s three-EP series of piano music by contemporary Irish minimalist composer Donnacha Dennehy. The title track pairs Moore with a “soundtrack” that, as Dennehy puts it, “is made up of samples of a piano (played both normally and ‘inside’) retuned to provide a massive harmonic spectrum of 100 overtones.” This technique vastly increases the amount of timbres available toMoore. The piece’s rhythmic urgency over its mix of gentle tinkling and occasional pound gives its 15 minutes an attractive tension.

Creating a suspenseful yet poetic mood

The other track, “Reservoir,” is in two sections. The first always seems to be rising in pitch, with repetitive, bell-like chords slowly morphing over its running time, staking out widely disparate low and high registers. The second half contrasts by sticking to lower and middle registers, with much less separation. The compositional techniques sound dryly academic, but they create a suspenseful yet poetic mood, like water slowly but inexorably lapping over you.