HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Review - Complete Studio Recordings

Artist: Syzygys

Posted on Thu, Feb 20, 2003 at 4:00 AM

The idea of a Japanese "female duo who plays microtonal pop music" should justly send shivers of terror down your Pizzicato Five-battered spine. But when you notice that Syzygys' complete recorded works are released on the label that brought you post-apocalyptic Japanese treats like the Ruins and Otomo Yoshihide, you in turn steel yourself for a paint-peeling screech-fest of epic proportions. Yet the music of Hitomi Shimizu and Hiromi Nishida fits into neither of those categories. In fact, these 19 songs must be some of the most delicately uplifiting "progressive" music to emerge from Japan in quite some time. Limited neither by cuteness nor by rage, Syzygys creates music on an organ modified to avant-classical vagabond Harry Partch's 43-tone model. Shimizu plays said organ (which, apparently, is a bitch to tune), while Nishida accompanies on violin. Both ladies handle vocal duties, while other musicians are occasionally called in to flesh out the sound with percussion or other instruments. The merging of the microtonal organ's intrinsic oddness with the lush familiarity of the violin builds a base upon which the two harmonize like choir girls. The result is music that -- not unlike Partch's -- is somehow possessed of an intrinsically Arabic feel, accentuated by some lovely vocal flourishes. Definitely unique, but not in the way you expect it to be.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation