Nova: Debut Sarajevo
Nights [4:04]; Moj Golube [6:46]; Uzeh Djugum I Mastrafu [5:14];
Theme for Carolyn [5:29]; Scott’s Guitar [5:29]; Tapkalica [4:10];
La Nuit Avec PK [7:42]; Jamilla’s Dance [3:49]; Dinner with JD [4:44]
Song for Marcus [4:02]
Alma Nova: Jessica Pearce (flute); Almer Imamovic (guitar) rec.
6, 8 October 2006, LMP Studios, Claremont, California
ALMA NOVA 5631
Alma Nova is a flute and guitar duo comprising Jessica Pearce
and Almer Imamovic. It was formed during their studies at the
Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. The folk-influenced
music on this disc includes Imamovic’s arrangements of traditional
Bosnian works and his own compositions. It is not clear from the
sleeve-notes which are which, as there is no individual information
about each track other than the listing on the back.
is an upbeat track, with percussive definition and a florid
flute melody. This track gives the disc a strong opening, well
written for the instruments and allows both players to shine.
The playing from both of these performers is idiomatic and immediately
demands attention. Moj Golube is a moderately paced ballad
with a lyrical melody given well chosen ornamentation. The opening
of Uzeh Djugum I Mastrafu is hauntingly beautiful, with
rich, dark flute tones heard over tremolo guitar. The mood lightens,
and a poised dance follows. Theme for Carolyn moves through
several changes of mood, with a simple melody line varied through
the use of different accompaniment styles on the guitar. Scott’s
Guitar is a beautifully performed solo for guitar, while
Tapkalica is another fast, rhythmic track, with repeated
melodic patterns building the momentum to a frenzy. La Nuit
avec P.K. is another languid guitar solo which develops
into a toccata-like dance with a punchy groove. The exotic Jamilla’s
Dance has a dance of the seven veils quality to it, with
Pearce’s seductive pitch-bends demanding attention. Dinner
with JD features multi-tracked flutes in a piece which has
a more western pop style - parts of this track reminded me of
Kenny G - than the rest of the disc. The Bosnian roots return
for the final track, Song for Marcus, in a fast-paced
dance, which also features some multi-tracking.
is an enjoyable disc which adds an interesting dimension to
flute and guitar duo repertoire. These players are clearly passionate
about their choice of repertoire, and Pearce makes excellent
use of ornamentation in her playing to give a sense of drama
to otherwise simple melodic lines. Both players have excellent
technical control and they have a wonderful rapport as a duo.
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