T.U. – RITE
T.U. is Luca Favaro, from Italy. “Coming from a classical background, he started approaching the electronic world through sound design, experimentation and Max programming.” Rite “is a project about hearing things differently. The compositions have the desire of elevating the sound itself as the protagonist of the piece, shifting one’s attention from regular instruments to non-musical sounds.”
This intention can be heard in the fascinating soundscapes that T.U. creates in these tracks with a stunning variety. Opening the album with a piece based on fairly recognizable environmental sounds (His Ground), it continues to explore sounds that seem to come from our world but have found their home in another.
Consequently, the composer takes us – the listeners – to landscapes we were previously unaware of … which, by the way, is not always a comforting experience: Imaginary Landscape N 2, for instance, is quite unnerving. It is followed by a piece with the reassuring title A Safe Place, but the question remains how safe that place really is.
If sonic adventures do not scare you away, and if you’re interested in the psycho-acoustic effects of sounds that are familiar but at the same time aren’t, you may very well enjoy this album. But don’t expect the kind of music that is usually filed under ‘ambient’.
MARKUS MEHR – BRIEF CONVERSATIONS
Don’t expect spoken ‘conversations’ on this album: these tracks are reflections of the ‘conversations’ German experimental artist Markus Mehr had exploring different rooms.
“Rooms communicate with us, we can listen to them”.
For the inexperienced listener, some of the sounds within a room may be hidden away in the rest of the environmental sounds, while others may be more prominent. Mehr magnifies each of the specific room sounds and creates a richly detailed soundscape with it – which may be quite a lot less ‘ambient’ and ‘environmental’ than you may expect. This is not meant to record the natural ambience of the room: it is meant to amplify otherwise unheard sounds.
“The material and arrangement of the walls and their volume determine their resonances and the nature of their reverberation. Thus each room has its own articulation, its own acoustic fingerprint.”
This may not be an easy listening session – but if you open up to it you’ll experience a rewarding granular kind of musique concrête.
Brief Conversations is released on cassette (including a bonus track not in the digital release, ánd a download code for the digital version). The digital version is a double joy: it also includes binaural versions of the original tracks. The album is exquisitely mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi.
STEFAN KLAVERDAL – TRANSCENDENCE
The full title of this album, Transcendence In Sounding Rooms, directly links this album to that of Markus Mehr. The music is just as exciting as that is Brief Conversations, but the origins of the sounds are quite different: they are mostly the recorded (and heavily edited) voices of “Elin, Emma, Peter, Gabriel” (note the comma!) “and Matthias on location and in private studios.”
Not exclusively, though: there are also string-like sounds of non-human origin.
Swedish composer Stefan Klaverdal created this partly for material that was used in the interactive play “The Enlightened” (of which I could not find any information so I can’t tell you either).
“Some may find it soothing; some may find it disturbing and some might find the hidden story that lies within enchanting.”
Others may experience all of this at the same time.