Elektra String Quartet
Review: "....I am likely not the only person who wishes that they had come up with the title of Gregorian Funk for a string quartet, in this case, composed as an expression of ‘sexuality/death and funk/groove’, to cite the composer.
We owe Romano Crivici a debt of gratitude....to evolving the string quartet as a vibrant and living musical form that is grounded in history, but locally embedded. Ebb and Flow offers evidence that proves the point.".....
The relatively benign first movement, Introitus – which is in the form of a long, meditative cello solo superbly executed by Adrian Wallis – gives no indication of the rollicking mayhem which follows in movement two, Allegro. Syncopated, jazz-infused rhythms and solos with an improvised vibe jostle for airtime with more move conventional writing in a scintillating cavalcade of sound. The third movement is titled Hymnos, hymnos being a Greek term for a festive song in praise of gods or heroes. However, the festive mood then drifts into a poignant cello solo, accompanied by the upper strings. Passacaglia is true to its historic form, laying down an uneven time, repeated bass pattern on the cello over which the high strings duck and weave. There are many modern versions of the passacaglia across classical, jazz and even rock, but this sophisticated composition stands up well to the competition. The fifth quartet finishes with Post Script: as I lay me down, that, as the title indicates, acts as a lyrical, resonant postlude to what is a significant piece of contemporary chamber music.."
Reviewed in Loudmouth, Philip Pogson July, 2022
Review: “… first it seems unchanging, repetitive, but as shapes and colours – or, in the case of Crivici's music, sounds and timbres – roll by, you tune in to the detail, gradually hearing more and more. A squeak here, a huff there, a quick glissando: sparks of colour in a fascinating sonic landscape... Crivici operates simultaneously from within and without traditions, moving from intricate counterpoint to free-form improvisations. Of the three works his Gregorian Funk, stands out as a real exploration, playful and dangerous,
Review: “…from meditative ambience, through deeply beautiful passages, to abrasive improvisations which have an almost heavy metal edge…consistently imaginative and a very impressive debut.”
Reviewed in Rolling Stone, Leslie Sly
Review: “From a classical centre, this album blows genre boundaries away in a scorching set that is so ‘live’ it’s reinventing itself as it unfolds.
He has achieved something very rare here; the slash and burn of inspired improvisation coupled with the disciplined nuance-ing of cold-blooded, calculated composition. The themes (melody and harmony) are rich, mining major and minor veins simultaneously and sometimes capturing segments, in a sampler operated by a footswitch, in dense layers amid the nimble, charged interaction with percussion, didje and bass. There are gorgeous spatial troughs- meandering piano and hand percussion, or solo violin and evocative atmospheric sections, strings bowed through effects.
There is fragile beauty, tenderness, even romanticism in the tunes, and so they’re a universe apart from dry intellectual minimalism. Five stars, this is a masterpiece of form and performance.”
Reviewed in Sound and Image, Leslie Sly
“Here the minutiae of the string writing within the evolving, electronically repeated patterns were flecked with truly luscious melodies, wafting against a hypnotic beat from South’s ghatam (clay pot drum)”
Review: Sydney Morning Herald
“He has his own distinctive sound…Crivici’s music has its roots in pop, contemporary classical and native Australian sources…simple, haunting melodic patterns.”
“…a sampler…multi-layered textures of rhythm and sounds … moving between tranquillity and dynamic, powerful playing…they mesmerised the entire audience.”
New Music Festival: Wurzburg, Germany. Der Main Post
“There is a whole world of music that defies the neat categories of marketing departments and record stores. The many artists who dare to fall between the cracks, -who cannot be accurately labelled jazz, classical, rock …and so on, –run the risk of being ignored or even ostracised by an industry that doesn’t care for deviants.
So it is that an ensemble like Elektra can fall between the shop shelves, radio programs, critics and even between venues. …. This quartet, under the musical direction of Romano Crivici, dares to be different in many ways. It uses amplification and electronics, it encompasses improvisation from within the ensemble and from guests, and it predominantly –on this night entirely- plays the compositions of Crivici.
The longest piece presented was Gregorian Funk, which began with a highly-charged introduction from cellist Marcus Hartstein, leading to a genuine sense of groove as the ensemble strutted its way through Crivici’s funky riffs.”
Reviewed in Sydney Morning Herald, John Shand
Elektra Collektive Unconscious
Review: "Often the most interesting artists are able to reinvent themselves, Picasso being the ultimate example. Having carved a career as a composer and violinist leading the Elektra String Quartet, Romano Crivici has now returned to his first instrument, piano, and formed a new ensemble playing compositions that draw on his Slavic heritage to varying degrees..."
John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald
Paranormal Music Society
“This irresistible ensemble of musicians and wordsmiths brings skills as diverse as the instruments they play to improvise on any musical or thematic cue they are offered. Not only are they wizards of instant wit, but they know exactly when to stop”
Sydney Morning Herald
"The audience love it –not just because it’s good, but because it is unique and has all the thrill of improvised performance. Like a high wire act without a safety net, each night these three brilliant musicians put themselves on the line”
Press Press (Hobart)
“The trio is so good at interpreting these requests that many people believe they have planted people in the audience and rehearsed the music”
The Advertiser (Adelaide)
"The Paranormals are a group of talented and slightly loopy musicians who live on the razor’s edge of their wits and inner resources”