The Mexican percussion quartet, Ear Massage, has created here an intense debut recording. “One of the most versatile percussion quartets” (Percussive Arts Society), they mix joyful expressions of their afro-cuban roots with refined interpretations of master works. Also significant are the first recordings of several new pieces. Best played loud, the sound of this recording jumps right out of the speakers, and the lion’s roar in the Cage is very impressive. At times controlled and subtle and at times exotic and primal, Ear Massage takes you here on an expressive journey.
Well-trained, highly virtuoso players, they concentrate on the musical content of the pieces they perform. A certain element of show is almost unavoidable in percussion and also their concerts are a delight to watch but their virtuosity and youth are always subordinate to the music itself. The way they perform Christopher Rouse's piece Ku-Ka-Ilimoku is a fine example of their approach: refined, delicate and transparent...instead of 'muscles'.
The repertoire that the group has chosen to put on this recording shows their integrity, musical taste, fantasy and playfulness.
NOTE: The physical CD is an Enhanced-CD (E-CD) containing Ear Massage photos and Video Footage (Quick Time movie)
Ear Massage is:
Percussion and Vocals
Voice on tracks 1 and 7
1. Ear Massage: Intro (2006)
2. Christopher Rouse: Ku Ka Ilimoku* (1972)
3. Juan Felipe Waller: Teguala (2002)
4. John Cage: Third Construction* (1941)
5. Aurél Holló: José / Before John^5 (2000)
6. Ricardo Giraldo: "..." for marimba overdubbed (2000)
7. Ear Massage: Ending (2006)
*All tracks are world premiere recordings, except tracks 2 and 4