Review: Nyman and Motion Trio

Motion Trio with Michael Nyman
MN Records Ltd 2009
Buy on iTunes

Recorded as part of the 7th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival

Does anyone really like the accordion? Those that play it are certainly talented but there seems to be very little music between the extremes of Myron Floren schmaltz, drunken Oktoberfest polkas and sad clown melancholy. (Think Joanie in last season’s Mad Men or the Amélie soundtrack)

The Motion Trio from Poland knows the instrument can be energetic, expressive, mischievious, subtle and intense and this collaboration with Michael Nyman does a great deal to convince the rest of us to get on board the accordion train.

[audio:http://theomniscientmussel.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/03-Trysting-Fields.mp3|titles=Trysting Fields by Michael Nyman and the Motion Trio]

All of the pieces except the last one are written by Michael Nyman and arranged by Motion Trio leader Janusz Wojtarowicz. The Pole chose wisely and all the tracks survive the poaching with their dignity intact.

Nyman’s brand of minimalism rewards performers that are willing to play up the its inherent warmth and lyricism rather than regard the pieces as mechanical exercises. Surprisingly, the accordion’s natural emotional pull has a good home in this music.

Nyman plays the piano on most of the tracks and about half include trombonist Nigel Barr. Colourwise, the group makes quite a pleasant ensemble with the piano providing incisiveness, the trombone warmth in the bass and the three acoustic accordions a delicious reedy texture.

[audio:http://theomniscientmussel.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/07-Chasing-Sheep.mp3|titles=Chasing Sheep by Michael Nyman and the Motion Trio]

At only 45 minutes, the album doesn’t wear out its welcome and leaves Miss Mussel wanting to investigate other Motion Trio collaborations.

Tracks: In Re Don Giovanni | Knowing the Ropes | Trysting Fields | Wedding Tango | Come Unto These Yellow Roads | If | Chasing Sheep | The Heart Asks Pleasure First | Miranda | Silence*

*written by Janusz Wojtarowicz

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