Spiro: "Dazzling", "magnificent", "intense and minimal", "soulful", "passionate", "breathtakingly moving" - this unique Bristol-based acoustic four-piece are celebrated for the beauty of their interlocking, intricate musical patterns. Like whirlpools, they suck you in to a compelling, complex minimalism and you're swept away in an irresistible river of sound. And just when you think it can't get any better, with each release Spiro up their game.
Testifying to the brilliance of each musician, this music of many-layered depth is produced with just four instruments at any given moment. Jane Harbour (violin/viola), Jon Hunt (acoustic guitar/cello), Alex Vann (mandolin) and Jason Sparkes (piano accordion/piano) break through the boundaries of their instruments and play them in unconventional ways. Harbour says: "Someone said to me when I was very young, think of your violin as a drum kit, and I've been trying to do that ever since." As Vann puts it: "We re-imagine our instruments. For me, my greatest challenge musically is trying to get emotion out of the mandolin. I have to make it punch above its weight. Whereas Jane refuses to fall into the emotive cliches of the violin, she packs it with emotion, but it's not expressed in an expected way." Unfettered in their thinking about what's possible, they rise to the demands of the music.
And the music is demanding. It's exhilarating, whether watching the band perform or listening in the comfort of your own home. The whole thing is so totally dependent on complex parts interlocking at the right moment that you sense one slip and it would all come crashing down, like a small, mistimed movement in Formula 1 might prove suddenly fatal. And like that expert drive, the precision is so fine that it's freeing; freedom and space flow from the intricacy of the arrangements.
Spiro aim, Harbour explains, to "combine the multi-layered complexity of classical music with the melodic strength of .......