The Bigo & Twigetti label operates in the same vein as Marvel movies: solo projects are followed by team-ups, and then a group is assembled. Cenes features Fiona Brice (violin / piano), Tony Woodward (cello) and Jim Perkins (piano, production), with all three listed as writers.
The trio approached their sessions as an opportunity to improvise and sculpt spontaneous sounds. This relaxed approach led to a feeling of liberation, and judging from the tone of this set, a quiet joy. The pieces may be short, but they capture the ephemeral quality of collaboration: this music materializes from the mist, and it shimmers with the weight of fog.
Preview track “Sparks” sounds like the tuning of a small orchestra, an inventory of potential textures before the melodies emerge. Once ranges are established, a question is asked: “Hope?” This is a curious name for a track, indicative of the current state of the U.K. Whenever artists choose collaboration over isolation, the answer is “Yes.” The melancholy of the measures is offset by the process behind the recording. The title piece returns to this tone, and at 1:22 begs for extension, developing rapidly on the back of stringed horses but fading when the barn door is opened. There may be a lesson here as well, although it’s harder to glean.
“Approaching” yields the set’s most classic shape: a rising and falling of chords, like the breath of a sleeping giant. Each piano note is cautiously placed, so as not to wake the dreamer. When the track ends, the EP ends, although the conclusion is open-ended; one can still imagine the chest expanding and contracting. The performers return to their homes, the producer to his studio, but the music lives on, asking and answering its sole question: a short, essential solace. (Richard Allen)