Culture Spot LA‘s Theodore Bell offers an in-depth review of Delos’ latest recording of music by composer Mark Abel – Time and Distance – featuring Hila Plitmann, Janelle DeStefano, Carol Rosenberger, Tali Tadmor, and Bruce Carver:
“Plitmann brings her exceptional talent to three works, the first of which, “Those Who Loved Medusa,” links the modern #MeToo movement and the legend of Medusa through text inspired by Los Angeles poet Kate Gale. Carver opens the piece with shimmering crotale tones to set an ancient context before the music emotes to Plitmann’s dramatic account of Medusa’s rape by Poseidon. Her voice is unsettling as she conjures the fear in the victims, who are then intimidated by deeply embedded social fears inspired by historical misogyny and abuse of women.…Plitmann again presents an affective portrayal of lingering dissonance with three songs comprising “In the Rear View Mirror Now,” only this time from the personal perspective of one’s past. The music is upbeat and sonorous and beautifully expresses her second-guessing and bittersweet memories. Tadmor and Abel meld piano and organ to create accompaniment to Plitmann’s emotive vocals. A piano figure is counterbalanced against deep bass tones from Abel’s organ, the two interacting in a seemingly perpetual motion.…Not all is bleak, however. Plitmann returns on the final track of the collection for “The Benediction,” to sing a final lamentation that resolves into a dreamy glimmer of hope for future generations.…DeStefano is equally evocative with her singing of “The Invocation,” which serves as the introduction to the disc and effectively sets the overall tone. She has a rich, warm and nuanced voice that provides subtle affective interpretations of Abel’s text. Immediately, Rosenberger’s nimble piano propels the listener vicariously down life’s path, followed by a poetic retrospection realizing the dangerous seductions and close calls that one must unknowingly brush in the course of living one’s life.…Bravo! A very creative collection of song with extraordinary singers and timely topics.”Theodore Bell, Culture Spot LA
Read the full review on CultureSpotLA.com
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