“I was smitten by Togni’s atmospheric force…. and the virtuoso bass clarinettist Jeff Reilly extends his cadenzas across the history of sound, from monody to modernism, in a performance that is dominant and hypnotic. There is something epiphanic about this music…. resist it if you can”
Norman Lebrecht, La Scena Musical
“Achingly beautiful, completely addictive”
The Independent on Sunday, UK
Mystical, dark and full of heart
Blackwood is a duo that draws upon the wide ranging performance experience of composer/organist/pianist Peter-Anthony Togni and bass clarinetist/composer Jeff Reilly. Together these two musical soul-searchers have toured the world with the trio Sanctuary, released concertos for bass clarinet and choir on the German label ECM, as well as creating string orchestra concertos and full length works for solo bass clarinet and vocal quartet on the Montreal based label ATMA classique. In Blackwood, the two of them explore the full range of their musical experience, from modality to modernism, in a sound that has the precision of gesture and clarity of focus that blurs any simple distinctions between improvisation and composition, and does so with a musicality and sensitivity that reminds us that such distinctions are moot. Together they have played hundreds of concerts touring Russia, China, Europe and North America performing in a range of contexts: jazz, contemporary classical, choral, orchestral, string orchestra, and Gamelan orchestra. The glue that holds these two together is a common love of improvisation, a passion for taking musical risks, and a deep desire to to connect with their audience. Long time collaborators at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation they have been playing and creating music together since 1998.
Here Peter and Jeff play and talk about the rich history behind the creation of Blackwood:
Blackwood’s take on the Miles David classic, Blue in Green:
Peter-Anthony Togni’s “Silentio”, with Peter on the pipe organ.
Blackwood performs “Uncountable”, by Peter-Anthony Togni: