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Posted June 16, 2011
A MEETING PLACE - Munir Nurettin Beken & August Denhard - Sono Luminus
With August Denhard on lute and Munir Nerettin Beker on ud, "A Meeting Place" is an exploration of medieval and Renaissance instrumental music (more than half of it anonymous), with special emphasis given to the historic, improvisatory nature of the different forms.
While the ud is traditionally played with a plectrum and the lute with bare fingers, for this recording Mr. Denhard and Mr. Beken have each employed both techniques on their respective instruments. The results, though sometimes a little uneven, never fail to surprise, especially Mr. Beken's improvisations; his fretless instrument (designed to accommodate the Arabic 16 tone octave scale) allows him to add an element of exoticism to even an overly familiar tune like "Greensleeves".
This east-meets-west, medieval/Renaissance jam session may not suit the tastes of the more traditionally-minded or authenticity-obsessed, but anyone interested in hearing two excellent musicians take a more relaxed and creative approach to ancient music will find "A Meeting Place" both intriguing and fun. Another very cool recording from a company that seems to be making a habit of putting out cool music.
Highly recommended 9 ½ out of 10 Oscar O. Veterano