Review: Tracing Lines CD

Fanfare - Jan/Feb edition
Fanfare Magazine | Carson Cooman's Review

This extremely appealing disc is the first devoted to the music of South African composer Robert Fokkens. it is clear that his identity as an African composer is very important to him, and there is certainly overt influence from traditional South African (especially Xhosa) music on his style. The main adjective that comes to mind when hearing Fokkens’s music is lucid—the pieces are nearly all very transparent in texture and harmony, and yet there is great personality and individuality in the writing. Several of the pieces make truly beautiful use of microtonal elements, within an accessible and luminous sound world. Each of the seven pieces has something striking and compelling about it. Though it’s still very early in the year, this terrific album is almost certainly Want List material.