Andrea Venet percussion
Annie Stevens percussion
Ravello Records proudly presents Escape X’s sophomore release, OUR FAVORITE THINGS. The album, which is the group’s first project with Ravello, features the music of contemporary composers and artists ranging from award-winning jazz artist Joe Locke to internationally-renowned New Zealand composer John Psathas and many others. Jazz, percussion, and pop all find a home on OUR FAVORITE THINGS.
Escape X is a duo comprised of Annie Stevens and Andrea Venet specializing in percussion instruments like marimba, vibraphone, and much more. Their mission is to generate creative and diverse music within a variety of genres and timbral contexts in order to bring challenging, lasting works into the standard repertoire. OUR FAVORITE THINGS is a potent fulfilment of that mission.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS showcases the talents of an impressive array of composers, and in so doing, flexes the duo’s versatility. Take the album’s first track, for one: Parkway is a programmatic piece starring marimba and vibraphone inspired by a road trip through New Jersey. Ethereal and abstract at first, the piece soon coalesces around bustling rhythms that simulate the open highway. Compare this to Clear Midnight; it is a continuous two-movement work featuring marimbas, drums, and voice. The challenging piece, inspired by the Walt Whitman poem of the same name, requires the musicians to sing while playing their instruments. The result is a rich, engulfing texture punctuated by percussive interjections. Likewise, behind every piece is a compelling story, and each work dares the duo in inventive ways.
Escape Ten regularly performs around the country, a fact which is viscerally apparent to those who listen to OUR FAVORITE THINGS; the performances are both technically impressive and brimming with raw energy, the kind you expect from a stage rather than a recording studio. Those who revel in the timbral possibilities of the marimba and vibraphone, as well those who appreciate rhythmic compositions with a healthy dose of storytelling, will no doubt cherish this latest release from Annie Stevens and Andrea Venet.