The performance has been described by New Zealand Herald reviewer William Dart as one that ‘guarantees goosebumps’ and he rates the album 5 out of 5.
Helix is a truly 21st century album. Inspired by an eclectic range of musical interests, the album takes the listener on a millennia-leaping journey, from the sounds of the ancient Mediterranean, through the dance music of 18th century Italy, to the latest dubstep and drum’n’bass beats of 21st century South East London. The album features stellar performances by NZTrio, the New Zealand String Quartet and Donald Nicolson.
Best Classical Album finalist – 2011 NZ Music Awards.
HELIX – Music by John Psathas
NZTrio Track excerpts
Archon : Metron
The Biggest Nothing of Them All
Donald Nicolson (piano)
New Zealand String Quartet: Helene Pohl (violin), Douglas Beilman (violin), Gillian Ansell (viola), Rolf Gjelsten (cello)
NZTrio: Justine Cormack (violin), Ashley Brown (cello), Sarah Watkins (piano)
John Psathas (gamelan, loops and sequences)
Production: John Psathas
Recording: Steve Garden
Photography: Keith Hill
This recording was produced with the support of Creative New Zealand, Victoria University, and the New Zealand School of Music
RAT-D022 (April, 2011)
John Psathas - Helix: William Dart - New Zealand Herald
Helix is an attractive collection of chamber music that offers the chance to get up close and personal with Psathas. The insinuating Songs for Simon, with Psathas himself looping and sequencing behind Donald Nicolson’s undulating piano lines, woos one in; NZTrio’s shattering title piece, with a Tarantismo movement that almost rivals the recent Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra version for firing power, guarantees goosebumps.
We have waited too long to hear Psathas’ transcription of Kartsigar which the New Zealand String Quartet has been taking around the world. It turns out to be a fascinating exploration of that elusive world between song and dance, the perfect complement to his earlier Abhisheka.
The best comes last. Waiting: Still is a lulling mood piece that features Nicolson’s piano laced with the composer’s own gamelan sonorities – a timely and deserved tribute to Jack Body, teacher, friend and inspirational force on the music scene.
Album rating: 5/5
William Dart – New Zealand Herald