ANN SOUTHAM - Glass Houses Vol. 2

ANN SOUTHAM - Glass Houses Vol. 2 - Piano Works - Christina Petrowska Quilico - Released: April 2014 - Centrediscs CMCCD20114

You know what they say about people who live in glass houses. They shouldn't throw stones, but what about tossing handfuls of diamonds into the air? And if we could slow down time to watch them fall, savouring their ever-changing shapes and the tiny fractions of sunlight they cast about we might have something like the visual equivalent of Ann Southam's set of piano pieces called Glass Houses.

Listeners who are wary of minimalism will want to take a deep breath before putting this disc on. Just about anyone would be well advised to listen to just two or three at a time. But as one becomes familiar with them, their many beauties become increasingly apparent. For example, No. 14 is reminiscent of an early summer morning while No. 15 has a decidedly jazzy feeling to it.

Christina Petrowska Quilico is best known as an advocate and performer of contemporary and especially Canadian music. As she was learning Glass Houses she suggested a number of small improvements to the composer, all of them accepted. Unfortunately, Southam died before the recording project was underway, but this CD and the previously released Volume One make an elegant memorial.

Richard Todd - July 2014