Pinkcourtesyphone & Gwyneth Wentink :: Elision (Farmacia901)

The finest kind of acoustic-electronic collaboration, only nineteen minutes long but destined for endless repeat.

Pinkcourtesyphone & Gwyneth Wentink :: Elision (Farmacia901)

When I reviewed Pinkcourtesyphone’s Foley Folly Folio, I thought it was probably a one-off, a playful/serious notion that struck American sound artist Richard Chartier, as a vehicle for cleverly and elegantly conveying the sense of claustrophobia and ennui of a particular time and place. Pretty and somnolent in pale pink. Some twenty full-lengths, singles and mixes later, I see I was sorely mistaken.

On Elision, a beautifully designed, single track CD from Fabio Perletta’s Farmacia901, he is off to the shires, teaming up with Dutch harpist Gwyneth Wentink. Wentink plays a replica of a 17th-century triple harp, fitted with three rows of strings instead of the usual one of the modern pedal harp. Given that it is also known as the Welsh harp, Wentink’s playing has a decidedly Celtic feel, in spirit rather than any folkloric sense.

That spirit is cloistered rather than claustrophobic. From the start, the air Chartier creates is crisp and clear and Wentink’s sympathetic strings sheer right through it like nightingales. As they proceed, they merge into soft drone, opaque, murkier, a calm before, opening the ears to the possibilities of smallness.

Improvising, the strings are raindrops streaking down the window, beyond which is glimpsed the blurred, impressionist landscape that Chartier creates with his “electronic things.” A meadow rolling toward a stand of broad shouldered yews, the washed out colors of herbaceous borders and wet, green grass bleeding up tree trunks to leaves heaving in the wind. The finest kind of acoustic-electronic collaboration, only nineteen minutes long but destined for endless repeat.

Elision is available on Farmacia901.

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