Monday, March 07, 2011

HurdAudio Rotation: Evolutionary Biology Determining The Possibility of Its Own Conceptualization

Muzsikas: The Bartok Album. 1999. Rykodisc: HNCD 1439.

Peter Eri: viola, guitar, percussion, flute
Daniel Hamar: bass, small cimbalom, gardon, percussion
Laszlo Porteleki: violin
Mihaly Sipos: violin
with guests -
Marta Sebestyen: vocals
Alexander Balanescu: violin
Janos Kovacs: tambura
Zoltan Juhasz: long flute
Marton Eri: cello
Zoltan Porteleki: cimbalom
Zoltan Farkas: gardon, drums, dance
Ildiko Toth: dance

I guided journey through the Hungarian folk music that inspired Bela Bartok with an ear for the roots of a rich cultural sound. With a mix of traditional arrangements, original phonograph recordings and Bartok compositions based upon these materials the ears are afforded a glimpse into the infectious qualities that captured the great composer's attention and passions. Muzsikas brings a high level of musicianship to this project that infuses this collection with a vitality that makes this collection far more than a curiosity.

Chicago Tentet: American Landscapes 2. 2007. Okka Disk: OD12068.

Peter Brötzmann: clarinet, tarogato, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Mats Gustafsson: baritone saxophone, slide saxophone
Ken Vandermark: clarinet, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone
Joe McPhee: trumpet, alto saxophone
Hannes Bauer: trombone
Per-Ake Holmlander: tuba
Fred Lonberg-Holm: cello
Kent Kessler: bass
Paal Nilssen-Love: drums
Michael Zerang: drums

Observing the occasion of Peter Brötzmann's seventieth birthday with a dosage of one of his outstanding large ensembles. It is exactly this kind of trans-Atlantic collaboration that has given the Chicago improvised music scene a noticeable vitality (as I observed earlier today at Ken Vandermark's Resonance Ensemble performing at the Chicago Cultural Center). Jagged and beautiful. Yet constantly guided by the ears and collaborative dialogue of this great ensemble. The sound spun for American Landscapes 2 paints a thick landscape in a single movement expression. Not unlike the Peter Brötzmann painting found on the cover. It builds as a steady crescendo of barely controlled energy before giving way to desolate textures. An expansive free improvisation built out of dissonance and a multiplicity of moving parts and an unerring sense of sonic integrity.

John Berndt: The Private Language Problem: New Electro-Acoustic Compositions, 2001-2007. 2008. Sort Of Records: 021.

R. John Berndt: electronics, compositions, performances

Each piece on The Private Language Problem carves out its own timbral space. Then derives its energy from within the narrow, compositionally chosen confines of its limited timbral range. Often with the implicit intention of triggering an altered state of consciousness in the listener. Dry achieves this as a steady state, ergodic texture of sine tones derived from a set of frequencies found in a field recording of a fire. Older Now builds a sonically different ergodicity with guitar as the input for a spectrally altered delay signal. While each piece operates within a well defined timbral zone, they vary enormously from piece to piece. Vacillating widely between acoustically rich and electronically primitive tones. Each one throwing out anchors toward a previously unknown shore. John Berndt taps into a modified dream state that skitters along the border between wakefulness and deep sleep.

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