CD Reviews

Wednesday 7th April

April 7, 2010

Ok so some music… I will admit, that after giving it a few spins a week or so back it was Brian’s little review of the Birgit Uhler / Gregory Büttner 3″ CD called Tehricks on Gregory’s 1000Füssler label that encouraged me to dig this one out of the pile and play it some more. I’d quite enjoyed it on first listen, though I am a fan of the 3″ format in general and tend to find myself gravitating towards music released on cute little discs (this one, being red and semi-transparent is particularly cute) more than most. However, reading Brian’s review I noticed something I had not spotted before as I had not paid any attention to the accompanying press release- Büttner, who works with a laptop played his sound contributions to this set of three short pieces through a series of tiny speakers placed inside Uhler’s trumpet and so used as mutes. This is a clever little idea, probably not original, though apart from Seymour Wright and Martin Küchen’s penchants for putting radios into the bell of their respective saxophones I can’t think of a recording example of this being done before.

So, when I first played this through a few times, while it did occur to me that the sound of the two musicians was very nicely balanced I had no idea about the method used for creating the music. Listening back now though, with this additional knowledge I do think that the laptop sounds we hear have an acoustic edge to them, a resonance you would expect from being placed in such a vibrant position. Am I hearing things though? Does this new information really make me hear things I did not before? I listened carefully the first few times around so why did I not pick up on what I hear now on those occasions? If I was told that the duo recorded the music stood in an underground cave would I then hear different elements again? How much of what I hear is really there, and how much just a case of my brain tricking itself into what it wants to hear? I am very much interested in this area of thought, whether a certain kind of “applied” listening can reveal different things in a piece of music. I suspect here that I can indeed detect elements of the sound that result from the recording techniques that I didn’t pick up on directly beforehand, but then I also wonder how much I mentally amplify these elements above and beyond what there really is to hear.

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CD Reviews

Sunday 28th March

March 28, 2010

Tonight I will try and get a decent review done then. The album in question is one of those that was sent to me without me knowing anything about the musician or recording in question at all, and I found myself doing something I rarely do, reading the disc’s press release after the first spin to try and work out what it was I was hearing.
The reason for my confusion comes mainly from the titles of the work. The disc, released on Gregory Buttner’s 1000Füssler label is credted to Evapori, and is titled Rehearsals for Objects. The three tracks then, in turn are named Rehearsal I, Interlude and Rehearsal II, with a compositional credit given to Oliver Peters. Given this information one might expect these recordings to have been made during the practice sessions by an ensemble of some kind for a concert performance. Listening to the music however, this is not the case. The three tracks are put together by Peters on a computer, using recordings made of unidentified objects “mostly of an everyday nature” that have not been treated or processed at all by the computer, only edited and arranged. The sounds we hear are not so much field recordings as small percussive, shuffling and scraping sounds captured, one presumes with closely placed microphones. So what the music could be considered to be a rehearsal for, or why the centre track might be an interlude remains unclear, but the resulting music is pretty good.

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CD Reviews

Friday 30th October

October 30, 2009

Today was awful, a bad day all round, from the news that my father is unwell through to the headache I have had from the minute I woke up, which is partly due to the amount of wine Julie and I consumed last night, and partly down to the stressful day I had at work.On […]

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