This review first appeared in print issue I of Ex Abysso.
Relative Pitch, 2018
Stephanie Richards makes her trumpet sound like and against a lot of things. On Fullmoon, she is surrounded by percussive instruments: snare drums, timpani, gong, piano. The force from her trumpet’s breath and contact triggers resonations in the other instruments, forming a new interpretation of what could be called the one-woman band.
There’s an incredible dynamic on this record, thanks to Richards’ exploration of the recording space and sharp feeling for contrasts. Like the waxing and waning of the Moon, Richards revolves in intensity, from abstract near-silences to free-flowing melodies, and battering assaults. The aid of live-sampling methods by Dino J.A. Deane only adds further layers to the sound.
Fullmoon is not a smooth record; like the cracked mirror on its stylish cover, reflections are sometimes broken, sometimes clear, and that’s part of the appeal for me. Unsettling and beautiful, like the Full Moon.