Classical cellist Emily Burridge has taken on quite a monumental task with this grand scale project, by meshing two very distinct cultures – the sophisticated prim and proper world of chamber music and the primordial world of the Xavante Indian tribe of Brazil .
She creates a cohesive nine part symphony that literally constructs a musical “Bridge Between Worlds”, composing the pieces for full orchestra, piano, and solo cello augmented by the traditional chants of the Xavante tribe she recorded while a guest in their village.
Upon my first listen I found the chanting to be gimmicky and distracting, and was about to dismiss the entire project as the musical equivalent of showing home movies of your vacation to strangers. But I’ve made it a conscious effort to always listen to anything I review a number of times before actually penning the final verdict. And it soon became apparent these ritualistic chants were not simply tagged on as a sampled sound effect – but her compositions were finely crafted around the themes – using the tempo and texture of each chant as one might utilize another instrument. And the more I listened the juxtaposition of cultures flowed into a cohesive emotional experience. I went from critic to convert by the second listen.
Track two, “Greeting” evokes a true sense of joy by both the quirky little melody and the staccato chants of the tribe. The song is then awash in a string chorus that is truly beautiful.
Like the oboe, there is a haunting quality about the cello which can tug at the heart, and Emily Burridge is a master of her instrument – evoking passion as her bow dances across the strings.
Through the medium of music Emily Burridge has bridged the gap of disparate cultures in her sonic travelogue “Bridge Between Worlds”.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on April 8th, 2007