Pauline Oliveros & David Rothenberg & Timothy Hill | Cicada Dream Band
Already familiar with some of Pauline Oliveros’ work courtesy of a few solo accordion albums I own, only clarinetist David Rothenberg’s name otherwise rings a distant bell here. Alongside Timothy Hill’s addition of voice, used rather more as an instrument itself than to mouth anything even resembling lyrics, and some field recordings, all three artists weave a setting given to something caught between the theatrical, a late night cabaret club and primeval swamplands. It’s not a place that pulls you in completely to begin with, but as each of the eleven pieces unfurl the proceedings steadily become more engaging, especially when the voice is less overstated and used more sparingly. Like so much such music, however, this is not concerned with trifles such as accessibility. Instead, it courses on the deepest of emotions and those generally untapped areas of expression only too often pushed aside in favour of easier outlets. While Cicada Dream Band may sometimes lapse due to its very nature as improvisational music, it’s hard not to respect those using this springboard who succeed in finding a common voice. On that count, this works completely. RJ.


Christina Kubisch & Eckehard Güther | Mosaïque Mosaic
I am mostly familiar with Kubisch via her incredible minimal drone-driven modern classical compositions, which she has been making since the 1970s. Here, however, she collaborates with Eckehard Guther on a collection of thirteen pieces recorded throughout Cameroon after their having organised a number of workshops throughout this country dedicated entirely to field recordings. The idea was to work with local musicians and artists on the idea of paying attention to the sounds around them; something both Kubisch and Guther initially felt the country’s inhabitants might not do yet were surprised to discover just how much sound does impact on people’s lives. The recordings themselves are taken from the duo’s travels throughout the country and depict everything from a wide variety of natural sounds to that of traffic, a street procession (replete with musicians playing away) and a choir rehearsal. Nothing has been processed, leaving each piece to serve as a nice and tantalising snapshot of a country which clearly has much to offer in terms of sound and beyond. What is especially interesting, however, is that this work only goes to illustrate just how much sound is heavily integrated into people’s lives, no matter where they live or how much they might not even concede to it. RJ.


Daniel Blinkhorn | Terra Subfónica
A large collection of miniatures form what appears to be the debut release by this artist given to moulding fragmented field recordings together with micro-electronics, the occasional melodic thrum, shapeshifted clarinet and gnarled tonal sweeps. Together, they form a radiophonic exploration, although each piece can be taken as self-contained as well as part of the entire narrative. Although far from unique, Terra Subfonica remains interesting enough to accompany a quiet and solitary domestic chore, such as ironing. Would I return to this after having just caught up with a huge pile of shirts, though? I guess you read my mind. RJ.

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