O U T S I D E L E F T   stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Mariel Roberts, Nonextraneous Sounds

To say Mariel Roberts is a good cello player is like saying your smartphone makes good calls; the statement is true but ignores the capabilities and implications of what's before you.

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Alex V. Cook, Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: September, 2012
Should we really be listening on a moment so intimate?
by Alex V. Cook, Music Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: September, 2012
Should we really be listening on a moment so intimate?

Mariel Roberts, 
Nonextraneous Sounds 
(Innova)

To say Mariel Roberts is a good cello player is like saying your smartphone makes good calls; the statement is true but ignores the capabilities and implications of what's before you. Plus, smartphones don't make good calls. Anyway.

The cello 'n' 'lectrontics pieces (Andy Akiho's Three Shades, Foreshadows) are on equal footing with extended technique pieces (the way the hand brushes the strings, rubbing out Alex Mineck's Flutter involves a level of voyeurism that borders on the suspect. Should we really be listening on a moment so intimate?) as they are with the dramatic let's-play-this-thing, big bow-work numbers (like Daniel Wohl's visceral Saint Arc) .


Here is an excerpt of Roberts laying into Sean Friar's neo-Romantic fever-dream Teaser, a selection on the disc.

Tristan Perich's Formations is where the whole thing opens like a thousand flowers blooming. The cello meets an Einstein at the Beach grade swarm of electronic harpsichord bleeps. The composer programs his own microchips to make these pieces; perhaps the most artisan way to do electroacoustic music. One is led to say this hand-wiring gives what could be a minimalist migraine inducer its warmth, its Mesmer gaze, but Roberts is also tending the hearth with her bow, her cello a rider on the subway, a voice in a crowd, a gear in the clockwork of the world.

Mariel Roberts' site.

see more stories from outsideleft's Music archive »»

Alex V. Cook
Music Editor

Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com

OUTSIDELEFT Night Out 2
 
best LPs of 2019 Bill Callahan... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest - Bill Callahan
  2. Return to Me - Lilac Time
  3. 2020 - Richard Dawson
  4. Chalk Hill Blue - Will Burns & Hannah Peel
  5. All Mirrors - Angel Olsen
Sno Aalegra... best LPs of 2019
  1. Shlagenheim - black midi
  2. The Imperial - The Delines
  3. Old New - Tomeka Reid Quartet
  4. Ugh, Those Feels Again - Snoh Aalegra
  5. 5 - Sault
Esther Rose... best LPs of 2019
  1. You Made it this Far - Esther Rose
  2. Hiding Places - billy woods + Kenny Segal
  3. I Found a Place - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
  4. Thanks for the Dance - Leonard Cohen
  5. Walk Through Fire - Yola
David Benjamin Blower... best LPs of 2019
  1. We Really Did This and We Really Existed - David Benjamin Blower
  2. The Reeling - Brighde Chaimbeul
  3. Eton Alive - Sleaford Mods
  4. Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
  5. Biiri - Nihiloxica

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

Redemption Song - The Ballad Of Joe Strummer
Paul Hawkins meets Joe Strummer's definitive biographer Chris Salewicz
November Spawned a Dinosaur
Elastic Day is the new LP and single from Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis
Reading Burroughs Reading
The Road to Interzone Author Michael Stevens Interviewed by Paul Hawkins
The Nuclear Family has Exploded My Mind
Nikki Sudden RIP
a tribute to a favorite of all at Outsideleft, Swell Maps' founder, Nikki Sudden
Hillary wants, more than anything, a tranny on Times Square
Chris Connolly assiduously updates Edwin Edwards' "The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy..." for 2008
Some of our favorite things...