Guy Birkin – Symmetry-Breaking

RM 005

There are many different ways to create (and enjoy) ambient/electronic music.
On Symmetry-Breaking”  (Dr.!) Guy Birkin has an academic approach, bringing him and his music somewhat in line with that of music on the raster-noton label.

In his work for the Nottingham Trent University (UK), Birkin investigates ‘complexity as an aesthetic property, using information theory as an approach to understanding the complexity of artworks’
For his doctoral thesis he studied ‘visual complexity’, but his current research uses his experimental method to explore the complexity of sound and music.

The question is, of course: does an academic approach like this also produce academic (as in ‘difficult’) music?
After studying the liner notes and trying to get a grasp of the underlying theories and creation techniques, I was almost relieved to conclude that the answer to that is “No, not necessarily.”

While it’s interesting enough to read about the composition details, about sine waves and granular synthesis, it’s good to hear that this music also works well on a emotional level – this is beautiful and fascinating electronic music that is great to listen to, even if you don’t understand the complex theories and processes behind it.

And the more abstract they are, the better I like them it seems: I think the two tracks referring to Arvo Pärt‘s “Spiegel im Spiegel” are the only ‘weak spots’ on this album. That’s just because the original composition is so delicate and restrained, that messing with it is alsmost blasphemous (to my ears).

The (physical edition of this) album is a special 2-disc release: one (V000) is the original album version, the other has three of the tracks tracks rendered specifically for that disc only.
So, for this edition of 100, there are 100 different copies of the second disc with the uniquelly rendered versions. The download version only contains V000.

Guy Birkin – Fourier-Gabor

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One Comment