Yarn/Wire / Andrew McIntosh - Andrew McIntosh: Little Jimmy Music Album Reviews

Yarn/Wire / Andrew McIntosh - Andrew McIntosh: Little Jimmy Music Album Reviews
The piano-and-percussion quartet performs a series of pieces by the Los Angeles composer that wrestle with the aftermath of 2020’s wildfires; McIntosh’s own field recordings flesh out a sense of place.

Nature is no stranger to notated music. Olivier Messiaen’s transcriptions brought birdsong to the page; John Luther Adams writes music about climate change. In Andrew McIntosh’s compositions, nature appears again, but more as an impression than a direct translation. The textures of mountains, wind, and trees often color the Los Angeles composer’s gossamer phrases, creating a feeling that’s sprawling yet interior, built from contemplative, slow-moving sound. McIntosh’s new album Little Jimmy, recorded by New York piano-percussion quartet Yarn/Wire, builds on this style through three quiet meditations, two of which draw from the California wilderness and McIntosh’s experiences in it.

This album is another entry in McIntosh and Yarn/Wire’s long partnership—in 2014, they presented the similarly pensive Hyenas in the Temple of Pleasure. But unlike the strictly instrumental Hyenas, two of the works on Little Jimmy use field recordings to tell their story, letting in sounds from the outdoors. The album’s title track grows out of recordings taken in April 2020 at the Little Jimmy trail camp, in the Angeles National Forest. That was before much of Little Jimmy burned during the Bobcat Fire, altering its landscape. Sparse and ruminative, McIntosh’s music is an ode to the place and the memory of the calmness he felt there.

McIntosh grew up in Nevada’s desert and currently lives in Los Angeles, regularly making trips into the city’s surrounding wilderness, where he finds inspiration in bristling California pines and the gales of wind that swirl around the mountains. To approximate these sounds, he uses extended techniques and unusual instruments. On “Little Jimmy,” a bowed piano technique, in which the player strokes the piano’s strings using a fishing line instead of striking its keys, creates a hollow, resonant tone much like the wind as it rustles through the trees. At other points in the piece, fluttering, high-pitched melodies ring out like agitated bird chirps.

This music conjures the feeling of gradually soaking in your surroundings, yet it never feels placid. It’s unsettled and constantly in motion while keeping a leisurely pace, which is a welcome difference from works that focus solely on Earth’s serenity. “Little Jimmy at the End of Winter” opens with distant bird calls and wind gusts and unfolds into dissonant piano and rolling vibraphone, balancing stillness with desolation. There’s a sense of lamentation in these eerie moments, a yearning for a time that no longer exists.

While much of Little Jimmy explores a sense of nostalgia and uncertainty, McIntosh does gradually turn to a gentler atmosphere by the end. The music’s final moments feel nearly suspended in motion as wind billows around tapping piano and bowed cymbals, emulating the feeling of wandering around the forest alone, bathing in its tranquility. As a meditation on a place that McIntosh loves, Little Jimmy is a quiet love letter to the ever-evolving reality of life on Earth.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Yarn/Wire / Andrew McIntosh - Andrew McIntosh: Little Jimmy Music Album Reviews Yarn/Wire / Andrew McIntosh - Andrew McIntosh: Little Jimmy Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on September 20, 2022 Rating: 5


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