Trumpeter Bruce Friedman lays out the rules of engagement for these improvisations by setting a limit for sonic resources "to just two elements, sustained pitches and silences." And for Motoko Honda's synthesizer work, "the rules are similar, with chords and timbre shifts allowable." It's an interesting conceptual approach, yet rather unwavering throughout the horizontal plane of ideas, encountered within the three duet pieces. With an air of minimalism surrounding the moving parts, Friedman cites Christian Wolff as an influence. Wolf was associated with avant-gardist John Cage and considered a pioneer of the 1960's expressionistic 'New York School.' He also penned the liners for this release.
For the most part, the duo shares a similar tonal plane that is somewhat meditative in scope amid slight variances of the musical architecture. Unhurried, and ever-so-subtle, the program offers a broad expanse. On "Amiss, Abyss, A Kiss," Friedman's extended notes ride above Honda's steady and droning synth sounds, sparking transcendental frameworks and gradual shifts in pitch. They paint a dark and ominous soundscape and often work within the same register. Here and throughout, the artists uncannily morph a free-form mindset with a structural approach in concert with the predetermined paradigm. Thus, sound-shaping, melody, and a steady stream of thought help pattern this album into a sublimely mind-bending experience, sans any excitable movements or cacophonous improvisational segments.