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Oren Ambarchi & Robbie Avenaim | Clockwork — Live Recording 21.4.99


A fine, albeit a brief CD of a duo concert given by guitarist Oren Ambarchi and percussionist Robbie Avenaim is documented on Clockwork. Originally released as an ultra-limited edition on Jerker Productions, the record derives its name from the clock-work sounding percussion produced by Avenaim. Ambarchi is his usual self, disguising his guitar as best he can; pretending that he's not actually playing the guitar but another instrument.

One of his greatest feats is that he realizes the guitar is capable of making sounds that may sound alien on first listen, but over time, become strangely alluring and warm. Ambarchi is best at moulding landscapes from scratch. I hear stillness here and much awe-inspiring exploration. Then, when Avenaim joins in — first delicate brush strokes on the cymbals, then soft caresses with his drum sticks and finally playing with mallets — the scenery changes to resemble the softest ticking of a grandfather clock. Slowly, everything becomes apparent. This is a tribute to time and the freighting prospect of loosing or wasting it. Is 18 minutes enough time to capture the perfect moment in musical history? If you're Oren Ambarchi and Robbie Avenaim, the answer on that April night back in 1999 was a resounding yes.

Tom Sekowski – May 06

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Tom Sekowski
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