The highly esteemed, New York-based percussion quartet, So Percussion, has teamed up with Trollstilt for an album that combines innovative and edgy sounds of contemporary music with ancient traditional sounds of Norwegian fiddle music. Five (and-a-half) Gardens uses multi-media percussion, guitar, Hardanger fiddle, spoken word, and electronics in a unique and compelling collection of music. The album also features Rinde Eckert – the writer, composer, performer, director, and Pulitzer Prize Finalist – on vocals and spoken word, and contains a DVD portion featuring motion paintings (a series of paintings strung together with computer animation) set to the music from the album.
Five (and-a-half) Gardens is the brainchild of composer Dan Trueman of Trollstilt, who PopMatters calls “…the most fascinating musician on the face of the Earth.” In similar style to So Percussion’s most recent album Amid the Noise (Cantaloupe Music, 2006), Five and a Half Gardens features instruments made from found materials such as flower pots, plumbing tubes, and cell phone microphones as well as traditional percussion instruments, fiddles, and guitars. These instruments are combined with electronic samples, processed sound and spoken word, creating a multi-layered sonic effect. The juxtaposition of traditional folk and percussion music to electronic and computer-synthesized sounds results in an indefinable listening experience.
The album received an enthusiastic five-star review from Steve Smith in Time Out New York.