The Passage Between

The Passage Between

between and beyond extremes
Randall Hall
Jonathon Kirk
Christian Lauba
Randall Hall
Catalog Number: 
new classical

Rock Island, IL

Release Date: 
Dec 12, 2011
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

As Carl Jung once said, art that taps into the unconscious is characterized by a "strangeness of form and content." He might have been referring to Randall Hall's mythical universe where sax and electronics, dreams and exotic journeys, cohabit. Surrender to this music and see where it takes you. Some of it originates in Hall's powerfully shamanic improv talents, some notated by real life composers (I am thinking of extended-sax legend Christian Lauba), but all of it benefits from a dark room and the volume cranked. The only downside is that subsequent sax music you hear will seem wimpy.

Randall Hall is one of the foremost protagonists of shockingly modern music for the saxophone. He teaches at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. 


This cd is absolutely a fantastic next step by Hall who manages to create a very fruitful going together of acoustic and electronics due to this strong musical intuitions.

- DM, Modisti

One of the most significant classical saxophone discs for years. 

Despite his training, this composer-player is free of that tight assed "French Classical sax" sound that still hampers new writing for the instrument. This music could also convincingly appear under an Improv rubric. It has fire and teeth. The latter gnash on Carnivore, a roaring thing for sax and electronics. Christian Lauba's Neuf Etudes for various saxophones has become a contemporary test piece, negotiated with utter confidence. Three Reflections on Eternity is for bari sax and interactive computer, made with collaborator Jonathon Kirk, It's similar in profile to the opening piece, but Hall's huge sound on the big horn eddies about impressively in the playback. The mood softens with the title piece, inspired by two paintings of doors and punctuated by Hall's son's pre-natal heartbeat and early vocalizations. And then, there's the unexpectedly tough beauty of Quelque chose que mon pere a tunu a ses mains, inspired by a rough note found several years after his father's death. The music is neither defensive, pretentious, its quiet progress full of unexpected hard edges. One of the most significant classical saxophone discs for years.

- Julian Cowley, The Wire