Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us


Cecilia and Martin Gelland
Johan Ramström (photographer/director)
nosag cdvd 142 [29 minutes - order from http://www.nosag.se]

This DVD of Duo Gelland is a landmark in the live filming of contemporary music; no-one wanted playback!

I have an enduring memory of a late-night performance of James Dillon's Traumwerk at the 1995 Huddersfield Festival (Irvine Arditti and Mieko Kanno) and it is available on CD (Arditti & Graeme Jennings; Montaigne).

Here, however, we have one of this radical composer's most attractive works seen through the eyes of an innovative and creative film director. It needs to be addressed on its own terms. Initially, I made the mistake of sampling a couple of the tracks, and found myself alienated by the over-the-top treatment, the players themselves tantalisingly only glimpsed intermittently amongst the extravagant video imagery, the music itself upstaged by visual dominance, as is always liable to happen.

Seeing it at more leisure and straight through, the seriousness of Johan Ramström's approach gradually convinced, and we were persuaded that this film (shot with a single camera, so we are told) is a valid complement to the Montaigne CD.

The camera swirls around the performers and the church venue, interpreting in its own terms Dillon's "strange playfulness", based upon Dürer's "marginalia". Continuity is disturbed by lengthy pauses between the twelve short movements; those worried me, but I have learned that they are approved by the composer, who has endorsed the project and wrote " - - the function of silence, the betweenness of movement, makes a statement about intervening spaces". Those pauses, the signficance of which is only divulged towards the very end of the film, also incorporate a delicious secret which I prefer not to give away...

This is an important addition to the discography of Duo Gelland, "reinventors of the violin duo" (La Nazione, Italy).

See our review of one of Duo Gelland's CDs [nosag 121] received amongst an attractive batch of Swedish Contemporary Music discs last year; it carries a link to an MP3 pre-release track of this Dillon DVD - http://www.musicalpointers.co.uk/reviews/cddvd/SwedishContemporary12_2006.htm A BIG international CD prize for the first time awarded to a Swedish production! Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (The Annual German Record Critics' Award) - goes to the DVD Traumwerk (Drömspel) filmed by Johan Ramström with Duo Gelland on the Swedish label nosag records.

Peter Grahame Woolf