Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Review -- TIRESIAS -- Delicate Fires

Redshift Music
If you are like many people these days classical music may not be the first genre on your list to listen to. Well, give Delicate Fires a listen, and you might just change your mind.
The CD is the debut recording by the Vancouver-based flute/piano duo Tiresias which was formed by flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor and pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa in 2002.
The duo's website gives a little insight into the music by providing an explanation of the name they have chosen. “Tiresias was transformed from man to woman and back again by supernatural means. S/he symbolizes what McGregor and Iwaasa have set out to accomplish: to speak from two very different perspectives with a single voice, to provide fresh perspectives and insights into conventional chamber music programmes, and to anticipate the future trajectories of the chamber music genre through working with composers and artists from various disciplines.”
Don't let the idea of chamber music scare you away. This is a playful recording. It often reminds of a scene from childhood where two children are chasing each other across a pasture. In this case one child is McGregor's flute, and the other is Iwaasa's piano. That is certainly the case on the piece A Delicate Fire.
Other songs take on a somewhat more mystical feel, taking one's emotion's to a deeper place, such as with the piece I Conversed With You In A Dream II.
While the two aforementioned pieces are rather shorter in length, both under five minutes, Tiresias really seems to hit their boldest strides as they explore through a number of longer pieces. Five selections here eclipse seven minutes, and two of those go over 12. On these longer excursions, McGregor and Iwaasa give themselves the freedom to truly explore the interactions of flute and piano within their chosen genre. The result are pieces where the listener can easily become absorbed into the experience themselves. You soon find yourself deep in the duo's musical work, and learn it's a relaxing place to be.
This is really classical music that should be accessible to anyone with a love of good music. Very nicely done. Definitely one people should check out.
Check this duo out at

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper April 9, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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