KEDA – FLOW
Keda is the duo of Mathias Delplanque (electronics) and E’Joung-Ju (geomungo). E’Joung-Ju plays the geomungo: a six-string traditional Korean wooden instrument of over 1600 years old. The combination of this historical instrument with Delplanque‘s electronics opens up a fascinating sound world – as is demonstrated by this third Keda album for Parenthèses Records.
Flow is a score commissioned for the dance production of the Swiss dance Compagnie Linga. Their performance is ‘inspired by the astonishing performance of animal’s group movements, such as shoals of fish, flocks of birds or swarms of insects. […] Exploring the mechanisms that allow keeping coordination in collective synchronous movements. .’
In a relatively short time span (26 minutes), the four tracks on Flow have an interesting flow themselves: starting with a relatively abstract soundscape, where E’Joung-Ju seemingly explores the sonic capabilities of the geomungo backed by the embedding drones of Delplaque, the music gradually becomes more ‘down to earth’ in each following track. In the second half rhythm is introduced, while the geomungo gradually acknowledges its ancient history in the more melodic sequences.
I don’t know if this process is reflected in the choreography, but I can easily imagine how seemingly unrelated chaotic movement suddenly changes into a determined formation. Like the seemingly unrelated movements of a school of fish or a flock of birds that suddenly changes into a coordinated formation.
AVIVA ENDEAN – MOTHS AND STARS
Aviva Endean plays the clarinet. And if that simple statement puts any idea in your head about the sound you may expect, you’ll have to think again. Or simply listen to a few minutes (or preferably a few tracks) of her album Moths And Stars, released on the Room40 label. It will not be what you expected (unless of course, you’re already familiar with Endean’s or her work).
“I wanted the recording to have a right-up-in-your-ear kind of intimacy – so close, that you could hear the
beating of a moth’s wing, but I also wanted the listener to experience the expansiveness of the recorded space, like the vast night sky.”
In these (electro-acoustic) compositions, Endean combines the sound of her clarinet with various sounds from her archive, microtonal humming, Leslie speakers ( ‘as a way to spin my bass clarinet around the microphones’), e-bows, magnets, binaural microphone feedback, and field recordings.
The result is a sound world that is as fascinatingly beautiful as it is disrupting. Intimately recorded in such a way that it gets under your skin, but at the same time it offers a sound world big enough to get completely lost in.
ÅKE PARMERUD – BRUIT NOIR
If it comes to electro-acoustic music, the Empreintes Digitales label from Canada is the way to go. Ever since 1990, the label has released a consistent stream of electroacoustics, acousmatics, and musique concrète. By now, their catalog includes 181 albums by 152 artists.
It’s not the easiest music to listen to, it can be quite demanding, and it’s not suitable to play in the background. But it often opens up sound worlds that you never knew existed.
Bruit Noir (‘Dark Noise’), by Swedish composer Åke Parmerud is a great example. Parmerud is new name for me, but he’s active in music and multimedia since the late 70’s. Empreintes Digitales previously released four of his albums. Apart from his electroacoustic music, Parmerud‘s website also mentions many other musical projects, as well as music for films and stage productions.
Empreintes Digitales has no habit of including extensive promo texts with their releases. They obviously don’t like to tell you what you’re supposed to hear. It’s up to the listener to decide. Also, I guess it’s hard to describe a sonic roller coaster like this. But since I’m writing this recommendation I’m afraid I can’t leave it at that.
If I had to describe what I hear, I guess I’d say it feels like a soundtrack from a movie but I’d have no clue what that movie would be about. And I couldn’t tell if it was a move from the past (say, the space age 50’s) or from the future. But it would definitely be a movie I wanted to see!