John Encarnacao/Espadrille - Tinderbox LP

John Encarnacao/Espadrille - Tinderbox LP

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Tinderbox was composed by guitarist John Encarnacao as an aleatoric score for the play of the same name written by Alana Valentine and directed by Zo‘ Carides for Darlinghurst Theatre. It was performed live in the studio by improvising trio Espadrille. Tinderbox is an album soaked in the heat haze of the Australian summer, played with great restraint by three musicians responding to both the requirements of a compositional frame and each other in the moment. Elongated instrumental textures drift free of pulse and tempo, the players suspended in the granular detail of timbral play. The album is a showcase for the three members of Espadrille, and perhaps particularly for saxophonist Brendan Smyly, whose timbres range from sweetly floating notes with microtonal inflections made eternal with self-administered delay, to free jazz overblowing. Drummer Joshua Isaac, known also for his electronic work, elicits gossamer cymbals and tectonic creaking from tom toms played with heavy chains. Composer/guitarist John Encarnacao wields his instrument as both lightning rod and spectral presence, playing more timbrally than melodically and eschewing the standard tropes of guitar virtuosity.