The breadth of musical textures and colors capable of being produced by a piano and saxophone pairing is larger than expected. Turning expectations upside-down, METROPOLIS, the debut release on Ravello Records by the Harrington/Loewen Duo, comprised of saxophonist Allen Harrington and pianist Laura Loewen, highlights the adventurous and unpredictable approach to the two instruments.
The Harrington/Loewen Duo builds sonic landscapes and structures from their dynamic and often frantic interplay in The Skin of Night while interpreting and responding to conventional and graphic notation including colors, images, and glyphs throughout the score of Metropolis. In pieces like Oran, they focus on the elements of intensity, duration, and timbre, creating expressionistic gestures and stark contrasts in mood. Harrington and Loewen showcase their sophisticated skills by way of extended techniques of the piano such as scraping the strings, pizzicato, harmonics, and glissando; and of the saxophone such as flutter-tongue, multiphonics, and bisbigliando (trilling between two timbres).
Allen Harrington and Laura Loewen established the highly acclaimed Harrington/Loewen Duo in 2002 and have since been known for their "musicality, tight ensemble, and virtuosic performances." The Winnipeg Free Press hailed their performances as "A living, breathing thing, blossoming in the hands of these exceptionally capable musicians." Together, they have received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Manitoba Arts Council. Both Harrington and Loewen are professors at the University of Manitoba's Desautels Faculty of Music in Winnipeg, Canada.