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McDonas, Thollem & de Dionyso, Arrington: Intuition, Science And Sex

If you're looking for catchy rhythms or an easy melody then Thomas McDonas & Arrington de Dionyso's Intuition, Science And Sex is not the album for you. If, however, you are interested in the avant-garde exploration of sounds and their sonorities, free from the constraints of conventional musical form and structure, then read on.

On Intuition, Science and Sex Thomas plays beatup piano and Arrington bass clarinet. They describe the album as a "free trio meditation on one mode with two musicians and drone machines". The record company class this as jazz/avant-garde but really, there's little jazz and much avant-garde! Having said that I must admit that I'm not an expert in the exact boundary between "avant-garde" and "avant-garde jazz". Irrespective, the playing sounds completely free of form to me, although there are instances when you sense that either one of the players is taking the lead from the other.

When used, the drone machines supply a deep bass rumbling which acts as an aural backdrop against which Thomas and Arrington add their playing. a little bit like artists onto a canvas. The bass clarinet's sonority, as played by Arrington, is not a million miles from the drone machines, which gives a certain continuity to the album and allows occasion for Thomas and Arrington to play without the backdrop and without losing a sense of sonic continuity.

Whether or not you're going to like this album depends on whether you are keen on the sonorities of piano and bass clarinet. For me, it was quite an enjoyable album, not particularly easy to concentrate and listen to for its 50 minutes, certainly coming nowhere near "ambient music" space, but the results of the sound exploration are occasionally enjoyable. I'm a big fan of piano sounds so that helps me, but I also found some of the sounds that Arrington (the "James Bond of free improvisation" according to his MySpace page) teased from his bass clarinet quite extraordinary.

However, with so much good music (of standard form, with rhythm and melody, including in the jazz world) out there to enjoy, I'm not sure how often, if ever, I will listen to this album again. My scoring reflects the doubt.

Track Listing:-
1. ABirth 2.InThe 3.BlinkOf 4. AnEye
     23:00    11:28   12:40      3:38

Added: October 20th 2008
Reviewer: Alex Torres
Related Link: Thollem McDonas's page at his record company s
Hits: 3726
Language: english

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