Tom Abbs: acoustic bass
Andrew Lamb: tenor sax
Mark Taylor: French horn
Warren Smith: drums, marimba, tympani, percussion
Natural/Cultural Forces is a musical representation of visual locations and situations. For the monster quartet opener Pyramid Warren instructed the three other members of the quartet to imagine what it would sound like to be on the inside a pyramid building up. Hence the crescendos for the grand size and the intimate small playing describing the small interior of a such a large structure.
For American Flamingo Warren instructed tenor sax Andrew Lamb to imagine a large young bird’s first flight out of the nest. Squawking and trepidation followed by lift off. The title Taurus at Pasture came after the piece was recorded, but the quiet pastoral mood is evident from Mark David Taylor’s long and cloudy French horn tones and Warren’s delicate playing. For the tympani/upright duet Epicenter, Warren guided bassist Tom Abbs to thinking about what it sounds like at the center of Earth. This idea is clearly set forth requiring no further explanation. To conclude Natural/Cultural Forces Warren does a pair of solos. One is an homage to Duke Ellington done on tympani drums titled Royal Drums of Duke's Court. This intimate set wraps with a beautiful sketch of El Yunque, the Puerto Rican rainforest. The piece begins with the canopy and works it way down to the ground. The wooden marimba and the metal percussion produce an ambient combination of sharp ringing tones and earthy wooden ones.