a compilation of electroacoustic music
This article first appeared in the Sonoloco Record Reviews. Reprinted with permission
- Jorge Antunes: "La beauté indiscrète d’une note violette" (1995)
- Alastair Bannerman: "In th’air or th’earth" (1997 1999)
- Peter Batchelor: "Velocity" (1996)
- Steve Bradley: "volalle melodie vi to trot" / "fowl melody to trot" (1999)
- Chin-Chin Chen: "Points of No Return" (1997)
- jef chippewa: "DUO" (1997 1998)
- Ian Chuprun: "Too Many Moments Passed" (1998), "Reading Allowed (PA 11)" (1998)
- Gordon Fitzell: "Zipper Music II" (1998)
- Martín Alejandro Fumarola: "ARGOS" (1988), "SET IN" (1994)
- Thomas Gerwin: "6 Aphorisms" (1998)
- Yves Gigon: "Ephémere" (1997)
- Barbara Golden: "Whipping the Boys" (1981 1999)
- Martin Gotfrit: "A Palaver with Procrustes" (ex.) (1998)
- Otto Joachim: "Three Electronic Sketches" (1984)
- Suk Jun Kim: "sudden cry" (ex.) (1998)
- Sylvi MacCormac: "Spirit Wheels: Journey" (part 1 of a puppet opera) (1997)
- Kevin MacLeod: "pacific" (1998)
- Diana McIntosh: "Climb to Camp One" (1989)
- Dougal McKinnon: "Horizont im Ohr" (ex.) (1998)
- Adrian Moore: "Soundbodies: Bodypart" (1998)
- David Prior: "Somewhere Submarine" (5th movement) (1996)
- Jean Routhier: "Setereotyped Latter-Day Opinion" (1999)
- Antti Saario: "B-side" (1998)
- Dave Solursh: "We" (1998)
- Jørgen Teller: "H a e I o u y æ ø å pt. 2" (ex) (1997)
- Ben Thigpen: "step, under" (ex.) (1998)
- Todor Todoroff: "Voices Part 1" (version stéréo) (1997)
- Pascale Trudel: "Ce n’est pas ici" (1999)
- Hans Tutschku: "extrémités lointaines" (ex.) (1998)
- Annette Vande Gorne: "Amoroso" ("Vox Alia", 2nd movement) (1998)
- chris wind: "to be led" (1993)
- Daniel Zimbaldo: "Au-delà du miror" (1998).
Durations CD 1: 74:58, CD 2: 75:43
This second compilation from the CEC; the Canadian Electroacoustic Community and its production group PeP, is a generous double-CD display of some of the interesting developments over later years, the oldest piece having gotten its binary definition in 1988, and the more recent ones as late as 1999, allowing also for a work that was in the works from 1981 all the way into 1999.
The aim of the CEC is noble and just and necessary; to spread word and sound of the inventive creativity going on in the field of electroacoustics, and in many cases thereby giving the sole chance to some lesser-known composers who cannot be entrusted with a solo CD as of yet, to demonstrate their art. Of course, some widely recognized artists are present here too, like Annette Vande Gorne, Jorge Antunes, Ian Chuprun, Martín Alejandro Fumarola, Yves Gigon, Adrian Moore, Jørgen Teller and so on, but a few I haven’t met before participate with fine examples of contemporary electroacoustic music indeed.
Jorge Antunes gets the honor of kicking this event off with "La beauté indiscrète d’une note violette". The bee swarm of timbral stretches fold out in curtains of swift softness, as a female voice provides short punctuations on the backdrop of these curtains, soon panning out like space-sounds the way they so amply have been demonstrated on CDs with recordings of the electro-magnetic force fields of the planets of our system by NASA’s Voyager, transposed into the audible frequencies by Brain & Mind Research in Encinitas, California. (Might sound too much New Age to some, but I judge it from its pure sounding qualities, and I did get it at the Museum of Natural History in Stockholm )
Alastair Bannerman’s "In th’air or th’earth" makes use of the voices of Lys Appleby and Selina Ross (they are angels and fairies ) in this Shakespearian spin-off from "The Tempest". This is one of the longer pieces on the compilation with its almost 11 minutes.
A very inconspicuous, dreamy beginning in sweet timbres of bells without the attacks fondles our tympanic membranes as the high-pitch sounds swirl and dance between our ears like some spirit let out of a confining bottle, or like a hovering fairy over at the brook, in dubious lightings under leafy crowns, as the water glitters and glimmers over the pebbles; in you mind a sound of wind through leaves; summer day hypnosis in the timelessness
Angelic voices float and flutter aloof, sometimes descending in sudden words of human reality but as the wordy sequences are permutated they strengthen the feel of a dreamy state of mind and at some instances you are directly referred to Karlheinz Stockhausen’s "Gesang der Jünglinge"; even electroacoustics has its history and its icons.
The sweeping metallic timbral layers also incorporate eastern associations, and in this inwardly focused music this is apt and right and very, very beautiful, as the sound soars on high on wings of golden widely spread.
Alastair Bannerman spooks us with brittle sound in a way that is worthy of a Jean-Claude Risset or a Francois Bayle; very skillfully handled for sure. He has an intuitional feel for this.
Peter Batchelor’s "Velocity" is also long, in a compilational sense, with just about 10 minutes. The title gives some hints as to the character of the piece, which starts head-on with a sudden rush of turbulent liquids, maybe even water On a backdrop of a continuous murmur, small, close events take place in rapid successions, making me think of methods developed by Swedish guru Pär Lindgren, who started a whole electroacoustic movement with his "Rummet" ("The Room") (1980), which is still unsurpassed in this sub-genre of electroacoustics but Peter Batchelor’s contribution is very much up to it too, skillfully applying his version of this background-foreground technique, which indeed is very effective and can be varied in numerous ways. Batchelor also inserts concrete sounds, like doors slamming, subway cars wheezing through tunnels and so forth, but shortly transposing these events into the realm of bent perception, where mirrors bulge and melt in Salvador Dali-related sceneries. "Reality" mixes with "un-reality" in this piece, and now you understand it and now you don’t and this is one aspect of the electroacoustic tool, which fascinates me most; the gliding, shimmering passage in and out of wack!
Next entry - Steve Bradley’s "volalle melodie vi to trot" / "fowl melody to trot" has a long title and a short duration. This is a comic tragic? French lesson, inserted with irritating events out of a household life weighed down by the strains of everyday necessities. "Eat your oatmeal! How many times have I told you!?" are exclamations that mix with a dreamy layer in the sound picture, wherein some French lesson really goes on. This is more of a spaced-out theater play or maybe a radio play than pure electroacoustic music, but then again, I like it when it gets a little extended and border-breaking. The spirit herein is somewhat akin to the hilarious productions out of the haywire auditory and social fantasies of Minnesota sound poet Erik Belgum (who just has to be listened to, no matter what!)
Chin-Chin Chen’s "Points of No Return" sports a beginning variety of glass-crushing, vibrating timbres, slashing through the air in the manner of Samurai swords, while deep almost infra-sound murmurs jolt down below. Sharp sounds of a paper-tearing quality take turns with bopping, thudding, sparsely applied electronics, as a drone of multi-spectered overtones stands static in a balance act, swaying a little. Rock-shifting granite sounds provide weight and stamina, while the momentum of the swiftly moving and intensifying smaller sounds build up to a storm of flakes, developing into a deafening sandstorm which all of a sudden stops, having you fall into an atmosphere of desert-like clarity, like in Michel Redolfi’s "Desert Tracks", which used sounds recorded down in Death Valley, California. The rock bottom feel is in some sense analogue also to the CD "Lilith / Stone" on the label Sub Rosa, which utilized rock and stone exclusively to achieve the sounds therein.
jef chippewa’s piece is called "DUO". The sudden impact of a whining saxophone panning wildly surprises the unprepared listener. Saxophone permutations or perhaps original electronic sounds move frantically in this very spatial concept, and the screeching, moaning saxophone takes turns with very inventive chippewa sounds. It’s a pity that this piece is so short, for the power of invention here is mighty, and there are a number of ideas here worthy of exploring further. chippewa is an expert at blending concrete and permutated or purely electronic sounds, and also very skilled at the transformations, and I’m very impressed by this all too short demonstration.
Ian Chuprun provides two pieces, "Too Many Moments Passed" being the first. He explains that this bit is the first part of a triptych called "Under the Playground". With the sub-woofer connected, this piece might bounce you around a little with the first infra-pulses, which provide a basis for short, insect-like spottings and feverishly swirling gray winds. The miniscule rustlings under the leaves of the forest floor are relieved by hilarious and cut-up motorcycle engines, themselves diminishing into a flaky breeze, leaving a threatening distant murmur for your imagination to digest Vowel sounds bulging in unrest in an oral cavity are empty attempts without the consonants to give them contour. Muffled sounds as if heard through a thick layer of soil (under the playground?) haunts you in eerie feelings of long-gone, forgotten mistreatment, in spooky, ghastly gushes of guilt. Drones build up and dissolve into brittle bell flakes, as a pointillist amassment leaves a layer two inch thick around the premises. A permutated light voice is madly cut up, transforming into a loud motorbike winding down. I don’t know what to make of this, other than that a lot is going on, and possibly too much to take in at once, which is why this piece for purely perceptional reasons is in need of a re-spin (unless you’re really good at listening fast!).
Chuprun’s second entry is the short "Reading Allowed (PA 11)". It was in fact composed for the website of BEAST; Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre! Pages are being turned (book pages of paper!), and electronic sounds are sprayed on the surface of them. Permutated versions of the lines "How do you want this read" and a few more utterances make for comical and fun listening! As I’m an enthusiast for permutated voice I’d wish Chuprun would do more of that, since he apparently is very good at it!
Gordon Fitzell appears with a work called "Zipper Music II"! Possibly the frantic and hectic beginning could be manipulated soundbits of zippers being zipped, and I do believe they are. It goes on in crazed demonstrations of zipper-quality audio, faster even than Conlon Nancarrow’s player piano "fingerings", and there is not too many places to rest in here; it’s just to hold on to the zipper and ride right along, in a dizzying speed.
As I read the linear notes I find that Fitzell indeed only and exclusively uses zipper manipulations here, and this piece, if any, amply demonstrates that practically any sound source available to us can be used to create very interesting electroacoustic music. This should convince anyone of this fact! It’s a fantastic display of zipper ingenuity! Here’s to Gordon Fitzell!
Martín Alejandro Fumarola is the second composer on the compilation double CD with two works, the first being "ARGOS". It is none other than the composer’s very first electroacoustic piece. Interestingly, he made it with a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer and Revox A77 reel-to-reel, with no computer aid. The short piece is well worth hearing, with a wildly fluctuating line of sounds in the left channel paired with a slowly progressing wall of static sounds in the right, the stereo separation bordering on 100. It has a lot in common with much earlier electronic pieces from the 1950s and 1960s or perhaps even 1970s when it comes to tonal expression and electronic language. Fumarola was probably much inspired by the early heroes of sound, like Karlheinz Stockhausen, Konrad Boehmer, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Herbert Eimert and so forth; definitely the German side of it anyway, and not the French. This is the first example of this compilation of that inclination, and I welcome it, since I have a faiblesse for that more directly generated machine noise electronics, though I sincerely love the French style, poetic musique concrète deductive idiom too, very much. However, since this is a rare example of this German, WDR fashion of electronics on these issues, I want to underline my enjoyment of it.
Martín Alejandro Fumarola’s second piece is "SET IN". Fumarola says nothing about any theoretical deliberations or "program" behind the music, which attracts me a lot. He just mentions his machinery. It’s sometimes interesting to hear what the composer had planned, or how he philosophizes, but most of the time your own associations take over the interpretation of electroacoustic sound worlds anyhow, and this is the way it should be. This music awakens in everyone his own points of reference, his own dreamy visions, depending on where he is in life, or which life he is in, at the moment.
A set of choral voices open this piece, which then indulges in sparsely spaced marimbistic percussive electronics, describing a multi-ledged passage up and down terraces on the side of an envisioned mountainside. Morton Subotnick is a name that comes to mind on hearing these shiny, sometimes fluffy sounds, at times giving the impression of being played on an acoustical instrument like a harp or some other stringed and plucked instrument. The sounds reach us out of a mystical world, which eludes definition, and shortly the piece has ended.
Thomas Gerwin’s "6 Aphorisms" is to follow. An aphorism is a downscaled, bare-stripped, cleaned-out text, harboring only the absolute necessities, but also in a striking and precise focusing of meaning and attention. In this case it might be useful to know something about the compositional background. The pieces are part of an interactive sound installation in Karlsruhe, Germany, called "Acoustic World Atlas". The piece utilizes concrete sounds from certain places, and so the piece could as well be called "6 Sound Pictures" or something to that effect. Since the incisions into the real world time-flow of these places are so short in duration, the combination of them nonetheless constitutes a sounding artwork. However, the limited duration also gives the impression of something that is over before it starts.
Extremely deep and spacious murmurs set the environmental fix on this piece, which enters percussive bursts of different pitches and placings in space. Marimba-like, pointillist sound applications feel like spheres rolling down an incline in a sewer system under some forlorn big city landscape so if there is a mayfly involved, it will have strayed to quite unpleasant circumstances
Barbara Golden’s "Whipping the Boys" is the piece that was worked on from 1981 to 1999! I suppose she started something in 1981, and then possibly dug it up and did something final with it in 1999. There is no explanation in the booklet anyway. She lets on that she used an old even ancient Moog at Mill’s College, and that it indeed "still kicks butt!"
Now this is interesting stuff indeed, and it should be, if only because of Golden’s studies with Terry Riley and Lou Harrison, holy smoke! Just the Moog concept is great in itself, but when you get into these conversational bits inside all these crazed Robert Moog machinery exploitations, it’s like a cross-section of Erik Belgum’s "Bad Marriage Mantra" and Karlheinz Stockhausen’s "Kurzwellen" with a touch of Marilyn Monroe and a lonely night in front of a flickering, almost-losing-it TV set in a murky half-assed hotel room in Manhattan.
I’ve never heard anything quite like this, and it’s so brilliantly done. Yeah, I get so happy when I discover something that is new to me, and which surprises me so much with its knack-on outrageous quality!
The second CD starts with an excerpt from Martin Gotfrit’s "A Palaver with Procrustes". Mr. Gotfrit provides a precise, yet shielded description: "Noise and sawtooth filters, resonant filters, all tuned to the Fibonacci series with 1.618 Hz as a base frequency."
The marble tones are so deep and vibrant at the onset that you need good speakers to avoid distortion; a distortion which will be present anyway, since paintings and other things on the wall will vibrate but this soon stops, and a bucket full of small screwy sounds and droplets of steel tinkle tankle, as little ones appearing like a reddish question marks assemble like electrical hattifatteners out of Tove Jansson’s Moomin Valley! Nothing is allowed to mature here, since we only hear an excerpt of a longer piece (which I wouldn’t mind listening to in its entirety some day). Definetly exciting electroacoustics from Mr. Gotfrit.
Otto Joachim’s "Three Electronic Sketches" gets more headroom and elbow room too, with almost 13 minutes and three tracks. Joachim is the oldest of the composers of the CEC compilation, born in 1910 in Düsseldorf. He realized this work in his private studio using EMS VCS3, DK1, Filter Bank, Pitch to Voltage Converter and Random Generator.
A fluttering, percussive, vibrating and highly massaging beginning immediately turns my thoughts in the direction of pioneer of electronic music; Rune Lindblad, who realized many compositions with similar sounds, and probably similar equipment. These layers of pulsating rhythms of different pitches are quite enjoyable, as a kind of rock n’ roll of electronic music, similar also to early 1970 pieces by French composer Jean Schwarz. The lack of poetic sophistication is compensated for by illustrious, space-film jumbles of eardrum concubines in attractive bursts of pulsations disappearing in Doppler effects down the line. Joachim manages a sort of counterpoint of the electronic pulses, and he sometimes re-enacts that Stockhausenesque trick of transforming rhythm to pitch, pitch to rhythm. Nice music in rough and crude apparitions!
Joachim’s track 2 introduces brittle and sometimes really shiny spheres that could have been sampled directly from Morton Subotnick’s "Silver Apples of the Moon", but some of these tumbling, rolling X-mas tree balls of bright colors, rolling down a marble staircase (or maybe bubbles rising in your kitchen, blown by the five-year old enthusiast!) are also reminiscent of some computer generated pieces conceived at Stanford by John Chowning. Are those similarities deduced only from the machinery, or is it a trend, or just a common inkling among certain groups of composers, like a local language spreading among certain professional groups or gangs of teen-agers?
The last track from Joachim displays these super-fast pulses, moving up and down pitch-wise, and again from rhythm up to pitch and dropping out of the pitch to fast or somewhat slower rhythms. I’m so used to this kind of electronic music that I feel right at home. It is very grainy, very molecular, very scientific in a mathematical and statistical way, very far away from the poetic French musique concrète acousmatique I’ve grown to love, but like in the case of Martín Alejandro Fumarola’s "ARGOS", Otto Joachim’s methods are refreshing in this context.
An excerpt from Suk Jun Kim’s "sudden cry" follows. We hear three minutes out of eleven. The machines are a Kurzweil K2000 synthesizer and a MIDI sequencer. If you’ve heard Rolf Enström’s "Tjidtjag and Tjidtjaggaise" which won a Prix Italia award you know exactly how this piece begins. It’s the same exact sound which at least tells me that Enström used a Kurzweil K2000 for his celebrated Saami piece because I wouldn’t think that Suk Jun Kim would just sample that lonely, threatening, ominous drone, which can scare anyone into cozy corners of sofas in windy autumn nights of attentive listening
The drone stays at the back to begin with, as ghostly, spooky close-up events pan between your ears or your speakers, eventually in a repetitious manner wherein the pitch and the intensity rises, slowly adding other characteristics of rougher, broader shapes. It appears like you’re transposed into another level of bewilderment, not completely sure of your bearings
Sylvi MacCormac participates with "Spirit Wheels: Journey" (part 1 of a puppet opera). The introduction is not of the usual kind, so let’s quote it right off: "Spirit Wheels: Journey with the voices of people with (dis)abilities. Words and voices: Geoff McMurchy (& metal sculpture), Anastasia Rudkievich Briggs, Jayne Dinsmore, Daniel Hunt, Philip Murphy (& penny whistle traditional Hag With the Money’).
Clearly, this is not the usual, common electroacoustics either. The lonely whistle opens to denser walls of fire, crowded with voices, near, distant, clear and intelligible or permutated, senseless, with bell-like sounds around the corner, different languages in short a vivisection of human existence on planet Earth. All this is enveloped in the vibrancy of electronically generated sounds, which sometimes shake and de-dust your speakers.
Kevin MacLeod’s "pacific" is the composer’s "first study in analog subtractive synthesis and envelope following, mixed with musique concrète editing techniques." That about explains it. Panning slithering sounds, as from pigs in the sty, gobbling away, mix with generated pulses, whereas sharp, whisking sounds touch your tympanic membranes with stretched out palms moving sideways in accelerating movements, as if they were brushing bread crumbs from a table. A fleeting murmur of a vibration whisks away into space and disappears
Diana McIntosh’s "Climb to Camp One" is truly an inventive and out-on-a-limb piece of art. This is evident from her description of this piece; a description which constitutes enjoyment in its own right: "Climb to Camp One [ ] portrays a mountain climb which begins on a vast, silent glacier, crosses a precarious snow bridge, and scales a avalanche-ridden couloir to Camp One. The work is performed entirely on the interior of an amplified piano, using climbing gear such as karabiners, rope, leather gloves and a helmet"!
It sounds peculiarly much like a regular a little daunted piano piece at the outset, but then it takes on the atmosphere of good old Ross Bolleter in the Australian outback and his deranged, sun-tarnished bar piano. Long-lasting deep rumbles take turns with higher pitches sounding almost like a Japanese koto, but don’t rule out the similarities to playing a plastic comb! The percussive sounds evidently stems from banging and tapping the body of the piano. In some of those percussive manners I hear a John Cage smiling meekly! (Think about "Three Dances for Two Prepared Pianos" or "A Book of Music for Two Prepared Pianos"). Diana McIntosh also inserts her own vocals into this pianistic climb.
An excerpt of Dougal McKinnon’s "Horizont im Ohr" appears on CD 2 track 9. Here you are thrown directly into a speedily moving bewilderment, which maybe was to be expected, since the composer talks about "schizophrenia through dislocation, juxtaposition, transformation" etcetera Whining, wheezing spinning tops all around your head make you dizzy, and the sheer clarity of these fast, sharp, at times crunchy soundbits is mesmerizing. It feels like little cracks open all over your skull, and soon the brain, vibrating and illuminated from an electrical storm within, appears all-naked at the very top of your skeleton. Nice!
Adrian Moore is well known since long, and his new CD on empreintes DIGITALes is fascinating. Here he presents his "Soundbodies: Bodypart". It starts in an explosive gush, but gasping voice-bits soon dance a terrifying gigue around your body. Rock n’ rolling synthesizer beats in the vein of Morton Subotnick all but crushes sanity as such and stops!
David Prior shows up here with "Somewhere Submarine" (5th movement) for piano and tape. The title is indicative of the flowing, waving, submersed feel. The piano tones are slightly off (having a side-winding timbre), as if run through a bucket of water or maybe a ring-modulator with a very slight setting. It’s meditative and fairytaly!
Jean Routhier contributes with "Setereotyped Latter-Day Opinion". Before I listen I see that the piece is one minute long! Compare that to Morton Feldman’s 4-hour string quartet But basically an experience of art doesn’t have to do with duration in that sense so I listen! It is a fun piece. Routhier picks up a few sounds, and spins them off in a rhythmic slash-bang. We hear, in this rhythmic repetition, some rumbling machine noise, a cat meowing and so on, with electric sparks flying all around, and I can picture the cat with hair on end and eyes wild, like the cat Efsie whom some crazy hippies in Brooklyn fed LSD in 1970, and it’s true, because I witnessed the cat bouncing around the apartment on Washington Avenue, getting no rest for its own psychedelic hallucinations. Horrible! In this one-minute piece some people come in at the end, apparently pulling the plugs, because it all stops short of a fried kitty! I must admit, though, that out of all pieces on this set, this one has the strangest title; I mean, I can’t fit it in with the sounds
Antti Saario’s "B-side" comes next. The composer comes from one of my favorite countries on the planet; Finland which is a completely romantic country with a people that freely and absolutely naturally mixes high and low, spiritual matters with soily potato-harvesting and then Saario goes to study with one of the real wizards of electro-acoustics; Jonty Harrison (Check out his CDs on empreintes DIGITALes!). What might come out of all those very promising circumstances? Well, it’s a piece of humpty-dumpty electroacoustics, mixing the musique concrète of the almost obligatory subway wheezing with rock band percussion and spatials taking you for a tour around yourself and back In short, it’s a mixed bag of to many sources with too little time on hand to make some real artistic sense but I like that fraction of the wild Finnish tongue at the very end!
So what about Dave Solursh’s "We"? Well, the composer explains that he recorded the water-related sounds of the piece up at Malign Lake (what a name!) in Jasper, Alberta. Much of the music is watery, and the "We" title refers to our anatomies, to a large part made up of that liquid.
A mad mangling and munching, as of furious aliens or haywire submarine wildlife, introduces the piece, which then amasses water and water and water, and thunder from the skies A high-pitched drone swoops on up ahead, until it take son the guise of an alarm call inside a large hall in some factory; a steel mill maybe. Short-wave deliberations kick in, and low rumblings and bedrock noise, till it all finally splashes out in electro-magnetic waves
Danish composer Jørgen Teller enters "H a e I o u y æ ø å pt. 2" in an excerpted version. Laughter is as good a source material for permutations and wild manipulations as any, and here Teller goes loop-di-loop in a framework of pleasantly swirling static noises and soft-spoken beautytronics. The laughter, though many different kinds, repeat in a way that transforms them from human expressions to scarecrows on the distant plains on foreign celestial bodies
Ben Thigpen’s "step, under" is also excerpted. Nauseating, wobbling, winding superstringy sounds, like the ones you might encounter if you bang your pot while moving it around and around with some water at the bottom of it, spread out in a spiral around your listening, and it is very beautiful. Reminds me a little of some recordings by Alvin Lucier or another recording I’ve heard of telegraph wires in Australia. It is very sad that the excerpt is so short. I’d pay some money to hear the whole piece, and I wouldn’t mind having this sound throughout a full-length CD.
Todor Todoroff; "Voices Part 1" (version stéréo) is working with voice and vulture electronics, feeding in nasty beauty on the remains of vibrations of human vocal cords, suspended in the air, planting reminiscences of the voices of all your dead friends and foes in the back of your head, in an itch that runs up over your skull and down your nose, till it ejects in a spark of static electricity from your nose-tip an swirls off in curved space with a promise of recurrence down the chronologies Very beautiful, very spooky, very desirable. Of this I want more!
Pascale Trudel’s "Ce n’est pas ici" is a rarity on this issue, being a woman, and a wild one at that, from what I can deduct from this piece of sonic art. She mixes in frantic speed, with nothing to stop her or slow her down concrete sounds from forest and city, this and that, fire and owls, in short, surprising sections, in traumatizing binary inserts and the variety of character of all these concrete bits is so full-fledged that the impression gets pretty overwhelming, and do I like this! More! Please! Very refreshing!
Hans Tutschku excerpts his "extrémités lointaines" which is dedicated to Francis Dhomont, and therefore raises expectations of poetic French-style concretisms. He recorded the source material during a tour of Southeast Asia, meaning sounds of cities, temples, children. This edition was downsized especially for this CD, but a full-size version is available on the disc "Moment" on empreintes DIGITALES IMED 9947.
It is a grand mix of brutal and etheric sonics, traveling from the dense wall of sound to soaring transparencies, but always in a dreamy state of mind, as if everything is seen in a non-wake or hypnotic condition, even having you rest in motion way out on a ray of liturgical-sounding pitches.
Annette Vande Gorne has got to be the most famous of the partakers of this CEC audio. Her contribution is "Amoroso" ("Vox Alia", 2nd movement). You can immediately establish from the beauty of the colors of tone that we deal with someone very artistic and very experienced in this lucid art of airy compressions. She handles the minute fractions of sound in a way that is a caress and a loving touch, as her paintbrush of many sounds whisk across your open face in mid-life. Her source material is the voice of man, and from that beginning she shapes an almost scary sense of pleasure and floating spheres with shiny surfaces under a canopy of a distant (in time) sky The voices progress in watery, brook-like movements, with reflections off of the water rushing over the pebbles
chris wind, who likes to spell the name in lower-.case letters, introduces the shortest piece of them all; "to be led" which is just 37 seconds long Some organ music or is it an accordion is played backwards, and a short text is recited and it turns out it is a humorous comment on the art of dancing hehe!
The honor of the last entry goes to Daniel Zimbaldo with "Au-delà du miror". It takes a while before I hear anything, but then it creeps on me and swells out to embrace the horizon around me, and it’s a combine harvester traveling the length of the field, and I’m either the man who steers it or a rabbit hiding somewhere down in the wheat the sun shines across the wheat fields which reach to the horizon. It might be a grand old kolkhoz in the Ukraine during the Soviet rule, and the light reflects off of the wheat that move sin wave-patterns in the breeze, while the dust rises like thin smoke above the combine harvester and drifts off downwind.
"Presence II" is an important, and frankly; necessary release, demonstrating just how varied and skilled much of the contemporary sound art of electroacoustics really is.