It’s not every day that you get a chance to listen to a musical duo comprised of just violin and guitar. I don’t I think I ever realized how potent of a combination the two instruments were together until I listened to August by Peter Levics.
Now before I go any further you may be thinking why did a duo name themselves after one guy. That’s what I was thinking until you realize the duo are brothers Juris Peterlevics (guitar) and Maris Peterlevics (violin). August is the first release from their intended and currently in process 12-month suite cycle. If the other months are half as beautiful as August, they will have created a staggering collection of music.
As I was listening to August it amazed me how much depth, dynamics and range came from these two instruments. Both brothers are accomplished musicians who are technically impressive but that is actually the least important aspect about these songs. They have a good understanding of when not to play and let the songs breathe, when to create tension and when it should be released.
There are separate songs on this album but they might as well be one song. I don’t mean that in a bad way. There is plenty of variation but the songs easily bleed into each other and felt like August needed to be listened to in one sitting to be fully appreciated.
I think it pretty easy to make a case for the violin as being the saddest and most nostalgic instrument that man has created. Throughout August Maris’s violin often cries with an emotional weight only the most vacant of human beings would not feel. Although melancholy is a persistent emotion that is conveyed it is only one of many. Hope, solace and nostalgia make themselves known throughout the songs.
The guitar is an acoustic instrument that is usually picked. Juris doesn't overcomplicate thing but plays the notes that the music calls for. For example, the arpeggiated notes he plays on “29 august” create a hypnotic whirlwind of notes against the warmth of the violin.
This is a beautiful start to an aggressive release of songs from the brothers. I can’t wait till September rolls around.
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