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Kelly Moran’s Alternative Reality

Kelly Moran, Bloodroot (Telegraph Harp Records)
A review

From the opening notes of pianist/composer Kelly Moran’s new release, Bloodroot (Telegraph Harp Records), you may feel that you’ve wandered into an alternative universe, one in which Eric Satie was born in Indonesia and wrote music for a gamelan ensemble. With a prepared piano, an e-bow, plucked and strummed piano strings, and samples of plucked and e-bowed strings mapped to MIDI controllers, Moran creates an otherworldly sonic environment where Satie, Philip Glass, John Cage, and (I’ll have to take her word on this one) black metal all contribute to her inspiration. (There is a transition on the second track, “Celandine,” that eerily channels Satie.) Her performing pedigree is equally broad, stretching from the no-wave freak-out of Cellular Chaos, in which she played bass, to the cultured avant-rock of Voice Coils, where she (wo)manned synthesizers, to the contemporary piano repertoire. Continue reading