“Cicadas” is a piano piece for two pianos composed by South African (now Irish) composer Kevin Volans. I was not familiar with this composer, and bought “Cicadas” plus “Duets” on the Black Box label simply to try it out. I was very taken by the piece. It’s a broadly minimalist work that never flags over it 25 minutes of duration and left me with a strong sense of peaceful contemplation. Much more so than other minimalist and ambient works that strive for similar effect; there was something both muscular and reflective at work here. The second work, “Duets” is a tape piano work for dance that is different in character, ranging from writing that is similar to that explored by Harold Budd & Brian Eno on “Ambient 2”, to sections of great activity followed by periods of silence. (In this way, this piece resembles John Cage’s “Four Walls” composed about 50 years earlier – another dance score).

Fascinating music – I shall to explore more this composer’s work.


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