When Music For Viola And Electronics is at its most patient and aloft, it’s like sculpture in watercolour. “Nothing But Blue Sky” is a beautiful amber cloud whose slow spinning put emphasis on each of its faces in turn, retaining the central shape even as the sides bulge and disappear from my perspective. Slopes of viola run through each surface like palm lines, as an elegant, swooping signature upon an endless white sheet. “Sinus En Snaar” depicts wires drooping out of alignment, as pleasant chords sag into dissonance and the centre of gravity rolls through the structure like an invisible bowling ball. Tilt and rotation are often the album’s primary modes of progression, and the composition hangs as a three-dimensional object fixed in the air above the heads of Banabila and Van Geel – a central tangible idea, mutually understood yet articulated differently.
Elsewhere, the duo are stranded within their own music. “Kingdom Of Earth” is a ritual in the rain, with water shivering upon pulsating drum skins and droplets squashed between handclaps, the bow fidgeting and groaning uneasily as if implanting grim prophecy into the distant cracks of thunder. “Dondergod” is like a pitch-black maze created in Nikola Tesla’s basement, full of slamming industrial doors and sudden fountains of free-flowing electricity, implanting artificial zig-zag into a collage otherwise comprised of vapour and sunlight. Perhaps the record’s traversal from airborne figures to craggy landscapes is a sort of exchange trip negotiated between the two instruments, the former inducting the electronics into the elegance and silken ripple of Van Geel’s strings, and the latter abandoning the viola among Banabila’s voltage and violent weather.