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the project

One of Australia's most distinctive contemporary music ensembles returns with its second United States release. The eponymous Coolangubra picks up where last year's Storm Coming (13080) left off; the trio again creates an atmospheric mood through the subtle interplay of acoustic instruments, occasional natural or found sounds, and the odd kitchen utensil or toy instrument.

The group, Coolangubra, takes its name from a small, beautiful, but unprotected forest in southeastern Australia, where the three members of the ensemble have been deeply involved in the environmental movement. But Coolangubra is not heavy–handed. In fact, the trio's combination of acoustic guitar, violin or electric viola, and percussion from around the world, produces a sound that is immediately appealing and organic—and somehow distinctly Australian.

Coolangubra has gathered critical and popular acclaim in both jazz and contemporary music circles in Australia, but their music is not easily pinned down. There are strong elements of folk, bluegrass, non–Western, and chamber music, as well as hints of ambient electronics and minimalism in some pieces. The result is a fertile blend of emotion and energy, making Coolangubra one of the most important musical exports ever to head north from down under.

the artists

Most listeners first notice the distinctive sound of Coolangubra, Claes Pearce, on violin and electric viola. Her remarkable, almost vocal sound has been heard in many settings, from free jazz to mainstream pop, and gives Coolangubra its emotional depth. Stephen Berry is a two–time national champion in bluegrass guitar competition, and has developed a strong rythmic style that leaves traditional bluegrass picking behind. Berry's guitar is the driving force in Coolangubra, which leaves percussionist, Greg Sheehan, free to fill out the sound with a kaleidoscope of instruments, ranging from Filipino jaw harp to Arabic jar drum to Tupperware. Like Pearce, Sheehan has played with a number of Australian groups, including a pair of rock bands, and has also written and performed music for theater and dance. With the addition of guest bassist, Steve Elphick, and occasional electronic or vocal effects, the group Coolangubra uses a wide palette of tone colors to paint a musical portrait of the forest it is named after.



1 Kobing (A sound that in various forms can be heard around the world) 2'02"
2 To Russia (Imagining the trauma and uncertainty endured by the Russian people) 9'29"
3 Moving In (Each day we live we're letting go) 2'28"
4 Coolangubra (Dedicated to activists everywhere) 8'21"
5 32 Steps to Compassion ( A cycle of 32 illuminating notes) 6'23"
6 Finding You (Again) (Finding power growing, living) 11'48"
7 Song for John (Coltrane playing in a dream, I woke up and wrote it down!) 5'55"
8 Beloved Land (How can words ever express the love for your ever changingess) 4'52"
9 All in You, All in Me (In awe of the range of feelings that occur in us all) 5'17"
10 The Start of it All (The tiniest seed of an idea may grow into something unimaginable) 7'25"
  Total Time: 64'17"