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Ayman Fanous and Tomas Ulrich: Labyrinths

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Ayman Fanous and Tomas Ulrich: Labyrinths
2007 2007
Ayman Fanous on Classical Guitar
Tomas Ulrich on Cello
(Duo Artist Website)

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 5, 2008

This CD is what I would call new music, an experimental stretching of the possibilities of sound, utilizing two classical instruments, cello and guitar. Ayman Fanous and Tomas Ulrich are quite creative and daring in their fusing of the highest and lowest depths of sound possible, with Mr. Fanous on guitar and Mr. Ulrich on cello. The artists met while performing in a Near East Music Ensemble. Dr. Fanous is an Asst. Professor of Psychiatry and Mr. Ulrich performs widely and has composed a Quintet for Trumpet and Strings.

Notable tracks:

#1 –Alluvial – Composed by the artists. This free improvisational duo work merges both guitar and cello so tightly with staccato guitar strings and then the searing cello bow in the highest registers. There are hints of Middle Eastern music as well as exotic Flamenco, sometimes appearing separately and sometimes together in mesmerizing melancholy.

#4 – Inter Alia – Composed by the artists. This track is more sequentially driven, with an uncluttered dynamic, brief notes that pulsate and plunge against both instruments with sharp resonance. This is not background music, rather esoteric and gripping.

#7 – Chiclana, Vere – Composed by the artists. With Fanous’ Flamenco entrance, moody and mellifluous, Ulrich’s cello adds soulful cadences that enhance the searing qualities of the theme. This is the one track that draws out an initial melodic theme, and it succeeds in a captivating way.

#10 – Reflections – Composed by the artists. This atonal, dissonant track is eerie and unpredictable. It is experimental play on combinations of sound, a scientific journey, perhaps psychically indicative of the title.

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at