KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Nowottny, Marianne – “Springtime of Desire ” – [Abaton Book Company]

Max Level   9/7/2006   A Library, CD

Ms. Nowottny, having captivated us previously with her vocal and keyboard stylings, as well as her songwriting talent, turns her attention this time to instrumental performances on the zheng, a zither-like Chinese stringed instrument. As someone who has very little idea what constitutes an “accepted” approach to this lovely instrument, I can’t vouch for the authenticity of her playing style or how it might compare to that of, say, a Chinese zheng master. So I won’t try. That being said, this material is quite enjoyable as a pure listening experience. The modes are tranquil, and the artist adds expression with bent notes and vibrato techniques. Echo effects and looping are also used on the zheng here and there to create additional sonic interest. A couple of guests (on flute and toy zither) join her on #5. These recordings go back as far as 2001; who knew this intriguing project has been going on for at least the last five years? Not me.

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