Selenographia is a fancy term for the mapping of the moon’s topography. It’s also an apposite analogy for the creative interplay of Hanson and Roessler in this context. Theirs is an intimate vocabulary of musical markers that reflects longstanding artistic and geographical confluence. The lunar imagery in the album’s titles is no casual assignation either as it matches landmarks on the celestial satellite’s surface with the panoply of thoughts and moods threaded through the music. “Tranquility”, “Solitude”, “Trust” and “Fear”, all have their aural analogues in the architectures of sound.
Both players deal adroitly in the sort of extended techniques that are de rigueur on this sort of date. Where they differ is in the consistency with which they personalize said methods of expression. Roessler’s arco dexterity is frequently mesmerizing in celerity and precision, but his creations never feel bruising or bombastic. Even when he’s bouncing his bow off strings to conjure fibrillating rhythmic patterns of hummingbird speed as on “Lake of Forgetfulness” the results avoid sounding obvious or overwrought. Hanson commands the full range of his straight horn peeling off velvety purrs on the melody-rich “La Lune Est Morte” or turning to piquant nasalized repetitions on “Marsh of Sleep” and “Seething Bay” sure to make the ghost of Lacy grin.
Passages of comparatively calming beauty vie with others of bracing intensity and the pair manage to construct something that seems increasingly rarified in these days of morsel-sized digital musical consumption- a collection of pieces that lucidly communicates a satisfying and edifying beginning, middle and end. In other words, an album, and one that expertly embodies an enduring partnership of kindred musical souls.
released April 20, 2012
Recorded & Mixed by
Track Selection & Sequence by
Jean Rochard (courtesy of disques nato)
Design & Printing by
Cork Leg Nelson
Karen & Ron Roessler
Kari & Bernie Dusich