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Aaron Martin
River Water (Preservation) CD

 This is the second record by a young musician from Kansas named Aaron Martin. Though Martin is a cellist by training, and the instrument figures prominently on the record, he also uses a variety of unusual instruments including banjo, mandolin, ukulele, erhu, music box, singing bowls, chimes, and Casio keyboard to make his evocative and introspective compositions. It’s not the exotic nature of the instruments that make the music so compelling, but rather Martin’s thoughtful use of each discrete element to create a distinct feeling and atmosphere. With great care and sensitivity, he explores the interplay between a few instruments or sets of sounds, such as the twinkling of a music box and the breathy, recorder-like sounds of the erhu (at least I think it’s an erhu) on the gorgeous, “Burning Honey” or the mournful cello and mandolin on “Sisters.” A really beautiful and subtly original record. Very nice indeed.

For more information on Aaron Martin, you can out this interview with him on the Australian Cyclic Defrost site.

—Susanna Bolle


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