STEVE PETERS – Three Rooms

(Sirr)

“Three rooms” is Steve Peters’ response to the overwhelming anguish that silence causes in many people, called to the arduous task of fronting their untold fears without a noisy soundtrack. The three soundscapes originate from previous installations that the artist created in Santa Fé, Chicago and Albuquerque, different contexts that nevertheless give us reason to wholly appreciate Peters’ music’s sparseness. “Delicate abrasions”, dedicated to Steve Roden, consists of rarefied clicks, drops, pops and scratches amidst an impressively quiet environment, all sounds obtained through the sheer human interaction with the interior surfaces and materials of the room, including “nails, dust, a sliding door, concrete, metal, glass and wood”. “Center of gravity” reminds a little bit of some of John Duncan’s experiments with breath and voice; the composer’s exhalations are at the basis of amplified wheezes and whirlwinds that – opportunely treated with EQ, reverb and delay – sound like standing near a runway while aircrafts take off, one after another. At a medium volume, it’s rather strong material. But nothing equals the fabulous experience of “Mountains hidden in mountains”, a 30-minute meditation whose only source is a strike on a densho (the bell gracing the CD cover, recorded by Peters in a Zen Buddhist temple) whose sonic components get altered and stretched so that the original metallic resonance gradually morphs into a mind-healing caress that concludes its existence in the realm of the ultra-bass frequencies, undulating hums coming through the air to cross our body and get discharged to the ground. Think about a Klaus Wiese/Thomas Köner hybrid and you’ll get a vague idea about this piece’s enormous power, shrouded by subtle oscillations. I tried in a dead-silent evening, juxtaposing it with summer’s last crickets, and thought that I wouldn’t have protested had I died then and there.

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