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A Stick And A Stone – Versatile

by Rémi

Versatile, A Stick And A Stone’s fourth album, explores an unusual avant-garde universe, between psychedelic folk, darkwave and choir music. Released on January 15, 2021, Versatile is available in cassette and digital formats.

A Stick And A Stone was born out of the mind of Elliott Miskovicz, a talented transgender artist. The universe of Versatile is a real dreamlike and intimate journey, where the warmth of the acoustic instruments mixes with some subtle sound effects and an extremely expressive singing. The intervals of notes, the recurring ostinatos and drones color the album with archaic, sometimes medieval and Celtic sounds. There are nearly fifteen instruments that live and evolve over the eleven tracks on this album, from bowed strings like the violin or cello, to percussion and crystal glasses. The predominance of stringed instruments, bowed or plucked, is evident. Versatile is a music of the elements. The airy voice glides over the instrumentation and ignites when reinforced by the intermediate voices of the choir. The percussions anchor the music to the earth while marimba and kalimba are more aquatic. The use of sound design elements as musical sound material in some titles gives context, like a kind of narration that brings an additional touch of originality: the dismal howls of wolves in “Hunter,” the hand-writing nervously on paper in “Meridians” or birdsong in “Oslo in Snow.” Listening to this track, although the genres are totally different, I couldn’t help but think of the work of the Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, “Cantus Arcticus, Op.61 concerto for birds and Orchestra”, where the birdsong of the arctic circle can be heard mingling with the symphony orchestra.

Versatile is a surprising album in many ways. It shines for its quality of writing, both musical and literary. Poetic, rich in sonorities, in particular thanks to the different playing techniques of the instruments and the great variety of the latter, the eleven tracks of the album invite the listener to make an inner journey where dreams and emotions are born, grow and flourish.

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