This ten-inch record documents a live performance of NINA—Chris Cogburn, Bonnie Jones, and Liz Tonne—at the 2009 Fusebox Festival in Austin, Texas. The trio explores their converging timbres—Cogburn on bowed and scraped percussion, Jones on electronics, and Tonne on voice—in a performance that highlights their subtle nudges of texture and the limits of expression and audibility.
There is a consistent quality of release that draws the listener into the recording. Sounds are offered at their thresholds, almost forming but never fully congealing. Jones’ electronics are nimble and sprite-like—playing with white noise and high pitches, but never piercing towards aggression. Tonne’s vocalizations occasionally form verbal qualities—if not words—but she usually only allows the air to squeeze and scrape through her vocal chords. Cogburn taps and rubs, occasionally rumbling quietly into an undercurrent of support, often bowing cymbals in harmony with Jones’ or Tonne’s contributions. It is a brief but satisfying, lovely twenty-minute set.