Duncan Saunderson

Ash Madni’s latest album ( Mystic thoughts )is a unique collection of music for string quartet. The variety of atmosphere and sound created is impressive. The writing is rooted in the Classical style however there is a more general eclectic feeling. Crisp, fresh and rhythmic ostinati are often suspended over lyrical lines, but these lines sometimes have a Gregorian chant or folksong character often with an exotic trilling more reminiscent of the East. One is occasionally reminded of Stravinsky’s use of Russian folksong in his ballet music. Atmosphere is created in “Sounds of the Bazaar” and occasionally the pizzicato writing cleverly reminds us of the Arabic “oud”. There are also moments of real lyrical beauty such as in “Meeting Jo”.

All Madni’s writing is fresh and lively; it draws the listener in most effectively. It cleverly showcases the possibilities of sound from a string quartet and the enjoyment  the writing clearly inspires in the players is apparent.