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CD Feature/ Santo Subito: "Xavier"

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The performers: Milton Cross and Steve Dye. The name: Santo Subito, which means ‘Suddenly Holy’. The title: Xavier. The instruments: piano, violin, and a variety of home made horns, which go, to name just a few, by names like ‘The Vestigial Organ’, ‘The Bass Flubaphone’, The Claira Phone’. The music: keep on reading.

Before I go into details, some words must be said to provide necessary information: This is the first CD release of these two artists, Milton and Steve as ‘Santo Subito’. Both have remarkable backgrounds in their particular fields and what is some kind of an underlying theme of this album is the very truth and their unquestioned dedication to its realization. The stand-out piece is ‘Whole trees in motion’. Horns, erraticly honking, resembling more than accurately the madness of modern traffic, swelling in tones, disharmonies, often multiplied and mixed in various stages of chaotic movement, and all this in sharp contrast to the nature of trees, the nature, if I may say this, of nature. Often, these expressions sound like cries for help, and the vision of roots and leaves of – obviously – stationary trees are underlined and explained by those ever present, ever so different horn articulations. Underlying, and coming in stronger and more dominant, are the piano chords, which reflect a surprsingly peaceful atmosphere, turning the mind back to the roots of nature, the roots, on which the trees stand and which provide live and existence in turbulent circumstances. Finally, even the horns try to join the harmony of the piano, working to get closer and closer in almost painful attempts, inching closer and closer, but never actually getting there. The attempt of arranging both significantly opposite ways of life end in a stalemate, which leaves the solution to the imagination and contemplation of the listener.‘Whole trees in motion’ is a masterful piece, well rounded and perfectly to the point in its articulations and intentions. Great!

But this is not all of ‘Xavier’. All of the pieces recorded here spread an air of a powerful journey to reach new, still undiscovered borders. Along the way, both artists don’t shy away from true experiments and express a wide variety of ideas and daring approaches in the process. Almost throughout, a playful demeanor can be sensed, a way of saying: ‘Hey, let’s just go for it and see what happens!’ It seems to me that the music and sounds are not simply born out of an innocent approach, but that they truly reflect a deeply founded creative process, culminating in what musicians tend to call the expression of ‘feeling’, a feeling, that directly touches the listener.

This first release of Santo Subito is a well balanced excursion into new territories and should be followed by others. Keep things going, guys, you did a magnificant job!One final word: Every CD features a handmade cover, which is a true piece of art in itself, and has been released by the well known label ‘Accretions’.

By Fred Wheeler

Homepage: Milton Cross
Homepage: Steve Dye
Homepage: Accretions Records

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