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Ed Bennett: My Broken Machines

Stop-Motion Music
Slow Down
Cartoon Music
For Jf
My Broken Machines
Ghosts 1

Paul Roe (clarinet)
ConTempo Quartet
Fidelio Trio
Garth Knox (viola d’amore)


In advance reputed as ‘anarchic’, ‘manic’, ‘brutal’, I was pleased to find myself able to relate to some of Irish composer Ed Bennett's music and enjoy it.

I should not however risk going to a concert by a group who call themselves Decibel "a direct amplified instrumental ensemble" fearing - probably correctly - that they'd play louder than I'd be able to tolerate.

But listened to with a volume control at my hand, this sequence was intriguing and compelling - even though it drove my wife away...

Bennett is a man with his own mind, writing mostly pieces that are "colossal, relentless, pulverising", so they need to be taken grdually and I would agree with the notes-writer that it takes "more than one listen to feel at home in Bennett's dstinctive emotional world". He makes a contribution to the "ostensibly moribund" piano trio genre, and develops possibilities for the bass clarinet and the viola d'amore, amplifying the resonant halo of its seven sympathetic strings for Ghosts.

The presentation is exemplary, with full cast lists and photos which are better than the cover artwork.

Peter Grahame Woolf