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Light

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
If you're not sure what to expect from a string quartet that calls itself Ethel, the most sensible advice is simply to expect the unexpected. From one track to the next on Light, the group's second album for the wonderfully eclectic Cantaloupe Music label, you'll encounter Brazilian dance rhythms and Finnish fiddling, jazz licks and blues cadences, and a flawless classical technique in the service of rock 'n' roll energy. Like another of today's adventurous chamber ensembles, the Imani Winds, Ethel's musicians are not only performers but composers and arrangers as well: Their own work accounts for half of the music on Light. But as on their self-titled debut, Ethel also...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
If you're not sure what to expect from a string quartet that calls itself Ethel, the most sensible advice is simply to expect the unexpected. From one track to the next on Light, the group's second album for the wonderfully eclectic Cantaloupe Music label, you'll encounter Brazilian dance rhythms and Finnish fiddling, jazz licks and blues cadences, and a flawless classical technique in the service of rock 'n' roll energy. Like another of today's adventurous chamber ensembles, the Imani Winds, Ethel's musicians are not only performers but composers and arrangers as well: Their own work accounts for half of the music on Light. But as on their self-titled debut, Ethel also collaborates here with some of the boldest composers on the avant-garde scene. The album's furthest-out experiment, "Ethel Dreams of Temporal Disturbances," is full of electronic effects, samples of an Irving Berlin song, and the vocals -- reminiscent of Laurie Anderson's wry observations -- of composer Pamela Z. In contrast, the hauntingly melodic minimalism of Mary Ellen Childs's "After Dust" provides a relatively tranquil respite from the more exuberant goings-on. The quartet's jazz leanings are also brought to the foreground, with Ethel violinist Mary Rowell's arrangement of Lennie Tristano's "Requiem" providing one of the album's most powerfully emotive moments, and one of Don Byron's "Four Thoughts on Marvin Gaye" offering a more abstract, but no less intriguing, synthesis of jazz, soul, and the avant-garde. And then, just when you think you've mapped out the limits of Ethel's influences and experiments, you encounter the "vocals" of Einstein -- an African gray parrot -- on the spirited final track, Rowell's "Also Sprach Einstein." Light may not suit those who want their music to fit neatly into one predictable category or another, but for the rest of us, it contains an album's worth of invigorating musical fun.
All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
The second album from string quartet Ethel finds them in even more adventurous form than their earlier work. That's never more so than on "Ethel Dreams of Temporal Disturbances," where the group works around a recurring sample, the piece going through several different shifting moods to create a atmosphere that seems to resemble the cycles of manic depression. "Chai," on the other hand, is a little sublime piece of funk that works beautifully in the setting. It's ironic, perhaps, that it's more soulful than "#3 From Four Thoughts on Marvin Gaye," the composition by Don Byron that's more an exploration of mood than anything. There's some glorious playing here, brash and bravura, but capable of many degrees of subtlety. It'll challenge what you think of contemporary music and make you think, not only about the music you hear on this CD, but the things to listen to when it's over.
Gramophone - Ken Smith
A pan-stylistic tour de force where fingers fly with virtuoso abandon.
Chicago Tribune - John von Rhein
Hugely enjoyable.

A pan-stylistic tour de force where fingers fly with virtuoso abandon.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/12/2006
  • Label: Cantaloupe
  • UPC: 713746303723
  • Catalog Number: 21037
  • Sales rank: 16,227

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Arrival (4:54)
  2. 2 Sambula (3:57)
  3. 3 Lighthouse (2:48)
  4. 4 Chai (3:43)
  5. 5 Requiem (5:18)
  6. 6 Pelimanni's Revenge (3:24)
  7. 7 Ethel Dreams of Temporal Disturbances (6:58)
  8. 8 Sickness and Death (5:29)
  9. 9 Memory (6:03)
  10. 10 After Dust (5:32)
  11. 11 #3 (2:13)
  12. 12 Also Sprach Einstein (3:56)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ethel Primary Artist
Dorothy Lawson Cello, Group Member
Vijay Iyer Piano, Guest Appearance
Randy Crafton Human Whistle, Guest Appearance
Cornelius Dufallo Violin, Group Member
Ralph Farris Viola, Group Member
Pamela Z Vocals, Guest Appearance
Mary L. Rowell Violin, Group Member
Technical Credits
Don Byron Composer
Lennie Tristano Composer
Mary Ellen Childs Composer
Tom Durack Producer, Engineer
Timo Alakotila Composer
Dorothy Lawson Composer
Kenny Savelson Executive Producer
David Lang Executive Producer
Julia Wolfe Executive Producer
UE Nastasi Mastering
Cornelius Dufallo Composer
Marcelo Zarvos Composer
Pamela Z Composer, Engineer, Sample Programming
Mary L. Rowell Composer
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