lan Dargin & Michael Atherton – Cross + Hatch
CD review by Ian Dearden
Wonderful music keeps pouring from the archives.
This album, recorded in 1997, and reissued by Black Sun Music out of Tucson, Arizona features the talents of Michael Atherton (guitar, synthesisers, assorted percussion) and Alan Dargin (didjeridu & ketuk).
The didjeridu, as played by Alan Dargin, is an instrument of intriguing sonorities and a seemingly endless variety of sounds.
It is, however, a drone instrument, not a melodic instrument, and the musical interest comes from the ability of the virtuoso player to wring all the associated percussive and expressive sounds that the instrument is capable of, in a musically interesting way.
Alan Dargin succeeds in this task extraordinarily well.
At times providing an orchestral or guitar “wash”, at other times percussion-based “ear candy”, Michael Atherton is the perfect foil to the omnipresent didjeridu throughout the nine pieces on this instrumental album, which summons up the essence of an indigenous Australia.
Dedicated to the principle of reconciliation, and to the cause of the stolen children, culminating in a 16 minute magnum opus (Ginjunggang), which would have been even longer, except that the recording engineer ran out of tape, this is an album in which you can see, hear, and smell the this vast country of ours, through indigenous eyes.
Do yourself a favour, and connect with music that has an unbroken tradition of more than 40, 000 years, taking you back to a dreaming that can, and should, be shared by all.