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Roden, Jeffery: Seeds of Happiness Part 1

Twelve pieces for solo bass guitar (1961 Fender Precision with an added Lindsey Fralin pickup run through an Ampeg Rocket bass amp) that do not reach to the experimental extremes of Fred Frith's now quintessential Guitar Solos or the dexterity of any of Leo Kottke's instrumental releases. Roden does ask the listener to contemplate a frequency range not typically utilized for the lead voice, and deserves our respect for doing so. The pieces usually favor a run of single notes, culminating occasionally with a rather conservative chord, the lower frequencies being much more stubborn when it comes to any sense of community with one another. There is some play with decays and audio remnants, but in observing the strict limitation of a single instrument the palette remains uncluttered. While this sparseness is admirable, it remains mostly sparseness beside more sparseness, making it difficult to sort out any momentary sense of contrast or volition. Some repeated use of glissando lends a slightly eastern tonality here and there, but the overall result creates the feeling of doodling rather than the seeming goal of contemplative and positive minimalism. And, for what it's worth, if the cover is ever reprinted consider changing "principle" to the correct form, "principal".

Track Listing
1) on awakening
2) stillness
3) shimmering
4) rift
5) certainty
6) a radiance
7) clouds like choirs
8) four vistas
9) labor and breath
10) forms, shapes, and silences
11) will without reason
12) revealed

Added: August 12th 2007
Reviewer: Kerry Leimer
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 1802
Language: english

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