Gardens of stone ( 2012)
This vibrant CD of Australian contemporary classical music is a unique creative venture initiated by Amanda Handel, in collaboration with Michael Jackson.
Conjuring landscapes and other natural features of the Blue Mountains, the music reflects a journey which moves between highly charged and powerfully rhythmic passages into areas of delicate sonority.
Crafted with luxurious dissonances, the piano writing explores extended modal harmonies against the bedrock of fixed didjeridu pitches. This unusual acoustic combination creates a wealth of resonance and surprising timbral effects.
Much more than just an accompaniment or drone, the didjeridu plays an integral role within the texture and phrasing of Amanda's compositions. Michael plays a battery of didjeridus and the didjeribone with astonishing virtuosity and a richly complex tone, using a large repertoire of rhythms, overtones and vocalisations.
Gardens of Stone features a solo piece on each of the two instruments, and the album closes with a spontaneous improvisation where Amanda and Michael leap into uncharted territory, eliciting a strange and exciting new realm of sound.
For more info on CD and to purchase click HERE
Ghosts & Angels (2006) Amanda Handel & GL Seiler
Performers - Amanda Handel: piano /GL Seiler: electronic sound /Matt Handel: saxophones / Paul Handel: bass guitar & trumpet
Description - Ghosts & Angels is a bewitching journey evoking the mysterious sounds of deep dark Spain in an alchemy of alluring acoustic music and electronic wizardry.
The album's concept arose from my enduring intrigue with the dark side of Spain. The project began with field recordings such as church bells, processions, birds, water (fountains, sea, rain), horse and carts on cobble stone...etc, which I made in Spain and then added a few more dimensions from sounds arising here at home (thunder storms and my old dog Max howling). I was also inspired an old legend passed down from the days of Moorish rule over the kingdom of Granada. Soon after writing the foundational piano scores, I asked an old friend - Greg Seiler - an electronic artist, to collaborate with me in fully realising the project.
Greg stretched, distorted, cut and looped the field recordings to create a whole new dimension to underpin the instrumental writing. The music is both scored and improvised. Some of the sounds are generated with percussion mallets on the strings inside the piano, and others by “preparing” the piano with objects placed on the strings or soundboard. These improvisations have been cut, looped, multi-layered and manipulated in various ways by Greg.
The additional music for saxophones, trumpet and bass guitar is played by Matt and Paul Handel. In some instances the music is scored and in others, improvised. I also have quoted samples of text by the revolutionary poet Federico Garcia Lorca (executed by Franco in 1936). My voice has been treated by Greg, and woven into the strata of the all-organic soundscapes and acoustic instruments.
To purchase a copy of the CD ($20), please contact Amanda directly via EMAIL
Many of the CD scores can be sourced through WIRRIPANG
Audio examples: Verdant Somnolence is a piano improvisation with electronic manipulation. The piano strings were prepared with a piece of parchment.
Adoration is a composed piano piece (The Seduction of Andaluica) which has been fragmented and expanded so as to include two lines of saxophone playing, field recordings, the poetry of FG Lorca and astonishing sound design and electronic wizardry!