Ursel Schlicht / Reuben Radding: Einstein's Dreams. 2005. Konnex: KCD 5165.
Ursel Schlicht: piano
Reuben Radding: double bass
Einstein's Dreams manages to paint a blurring line that dissolves the supposed divide between non-idiomatic free improvisation and jazz. Providing an artful argument for the common roles that listening plays in improvised music of all persuasions. Here it is the intimate dialog between piano and double bass shared between improvisers who instinctively know how to develop the tension and overlapping timbres of their respective instruments. The sonic worlds explored within the piano pulling the sound of piano strings closer to the territory of extended techniques that Reuben Radding employs on the bass. This duo then also takes flights that allow their independent sounds to flourish, feeding upon the energy of their conversant musicality. The reverberations of jazz and European music that informs this dialog is readily felt as an animating force behind this music as Ursel Schlicht provides glimpses of harmonic changes that Reuben Radding seamlessly adapts to. Giving this music a strong sense of hearing the spontaneity through these particular sets of ears.
Briggan Krauss: Descending to End. 1999. Knitting Factory Records: KFW-251.
Briggan Krauss: reeds, guitar, electronics
Descending to End plunges into a corner of temporal reality completely its own. A place that balances the desolate with the wonder of having so many elements in constant flux. The humanity of this sound stemming from the creative restlessness of Briggan Krauss's sensibilities. This is a relentlessly challenging and musical experience that brings a much needed improviser's take on musique concrete. The poetry of the pieces title offering an unusually descriptive insight into the forces at play in the sonic soup; "Last Gasp Extraction Of The World," "Lean Loud & Lovely," "Encumbrance Essence" and so on. The timbral essence of saxophones and guitars blurred and processed into a blurred version of its sonic content. These are stark landscapes done in sound and there aren't nearly enough of them on this collection.
Elliott Sharp & The Soldier String Quartet: Cryptid Fragments. 1993. Extreme: XCD: 020.
Elliott Sharp: computer processing, Thunder, sampler
Margaret Parkins: cello
Sara Parkins: violin
Michelle Kinney: cello
The Soldier String Quartet -
Laura Seaton: violin
David Soldier: violin
Ron Lawrence: viola
Mary Wooten: cello
Cryptid Fragments is a long-standing staple of HurdAudio aural consumption. So many of the contours of this recording have entered into a rare familiarity as the initial shock of the jagged timbral edges have aged to reveal a solid collection of string-based chamber works featuring electronic manipulation or electronic accompaniment. The four movement "Cryptid Fragments" is a study of digitally processed violin and cello samples. The finite set of polished gestures providing a sense of unified structure that provides a compositional framework for the sequence of moments that pass by. Following the delicately abrasive textures of this computer manipulated experience are three works for string quartet plus electronics: "Shapeshifters," "Twistmap" and "Umbra." Each fashioned within the ir/rational aesthetic developed by Elliott Sharp. A sound that is identifiable through its consistency and a sound that has become a point of fixation for a long time with these ears. The contrast of relatively "unstable" textures set against a clearly structured form gives this music something worth coming back for.