"This meeting of minds, intriguingly titled PHOTOSPHERE, joins Robert Dick and Ursel Schlicht, two virtuosi whose talent for stretching their instruments and minds allows them to paint with more colors and textures than flute and piano have any right to expect. A common pairing in classical music, flute-piano duos are rare in improvised music. But as they roam their territory between jazz, new music, and world music. Dick and Schlicht field a host of unusual sonics and techniques so startling that they open new panoramas. At times you man wonder just what you're hearing. Over the last three decades, Dick has redefined the flute's apparent limits musically and technically.
A veteran of such pathfinding ensembles as New Winds, Dick has been compared to Paganini and Hendrix (a dacade ago, he recorded some of the guitar great's material with mind-altering results) because of the way he's extended his instruments possibillities.
Dick is a brilliant technician with seemingly effortless mastery of complex breathing, vocalizing and overtones. These abilities alone are stunning. But what elevates his art is how his emotional and dramatic commitment animates his technique.
(www.robertdick.net) Schlicht offers the perfect stimuli and counterpoints for Dick. She has played improvised music, jazz and new music., and has a strong interest in collaborating with musicians from other cultures. She has also created improvisational scores for silent fils and music for dance theater. (www.urselschlicht.com) At the Piano Schlicht has a quiver full of sharpened skills; she bows them with a sure hand aiming not for bravura but for the soul of each piece. Listen to how she morphs her keyboards from muffled boom-ladden clouds to note-bending koto; she's as likely to play inside the box - the piano sound box, that is - as outside it at the keyboards. So when she and Dick make music - each wrte half this album's pieces - it's compelling. "I think of this album primerily as a conversation," Dick observes. That may sound banal, but these two articulate talkers spin unexpected tales with delightful turns of phrase, infusing human drama into music. The complexity invites the listener to think, engage, reflect - activities perhaps less prized than they should be."