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Osborne, Korde, Riley & Thacker

SlapTheMoon STMR CD02 [c. 73 mins]

A thrilling CD which develops innovations enjoyed in these musicians' first CD and offers a generous 73 mins of exciting music.

Japjit Kaur is a lovely singer who trained at Bhavan in West Kensington, where we often go. Jacqueline Shave is a distinguished free-lancer violinist who has traversed all the musics to be heard in our greatest of all musical centuries...

Simon Thacker is a restless innovator, and this great compendium ends with an enthralling piece which incorporates "reverse recording" of his guitar with notes, instead of decaying, "crescendoing" to demoniacal effect.

I don't have time or space for a full review, and so prefer to refer you to the experts at Nada Brahma. But make no mistake, this is music not to passed by or ignored by classical music lovers who are prepared to explore.

The presentation is colourful and exciting too, and this is likely to become one of our recordings of the Year.

Peter Grahame Woolf


Nigel Osborne The Birth of Naciketas
Shirish Korde Nada-Ananda

Simon Thacker guitar
and the Nava Rasa Ensemble
Dr. Jyotsna Srikanth (Indian violin); Sarvar Sabri (tabla);
The Edinburgh String Quartet; Mario Lima Caribé da Rocha (double bass); Iain Sandilands (percussion)

SlapTheMoon STMR CD01
[c. 35 mins]

We have been chary of "cross-over", but this is captivating and highly recommended to our readers.

Simon Thacker is a fine guitarist who has been devoting himself to exploring meetings of Indian and Western cultures with an outstanding intercultural ensemble.

Nigel Osborne, a distinguished British composer and Reid Professor at Edinburgh, has ploughed the widest farrows, including in recent years work in the Balkans and with amateurs at COMA*.

The Birth of Naciketas integrates the guitar within a mixed ensemble, and explores ten thaats, forerunners of Indian raags.

Shirish Korde's Nada-Ananda is more of a small guitar concerto, thoroughly enjoyable; see ensemble members pictured individually at http://www.simonthacker.com/navarasa.htm. I particularly enjoyed the violin playing of Jyotisna Srikanth.

The disc is very short measure at c.35 mins, and the booklet is crudely produced, with all sorts of colours splashed over the pages making the pages about Thacker, Osborne & Korde hard to read; I had to resort to a torch !

Peter Grahame Woolf


* I took part in one such COMA event devised by Nigel Osborne at a summer school at Bretton Hall in Yorkshire. We developed ideas originating in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, using sampled sounds recorded from the Hepworth and Moore bronzes, and assembling a graphic score to combine ideas thought up in our various groups with their 'facilitators'. ! I don't think a masterpiece emerged...