RICHARD FRANCIS – Together Alone, Together Apart


Still wondering if the water in New Zealand contains a tiny dose of nuclear power enabling its artistically endowed inhabitants to produce music whose depth is always in direct proportion with pertinence and, quite frequently, characterized by the harsh beauty of contemporary uneasiness (that often borders with the approximation of awareness – but that’s a story that words don’t explain, whatever one tries to find in them). Richard Francis – participant to/father of over 40 releases since 1996 – conceived these three tracks around “field recordings of indoor and outdoor spaces; handling of fabric, wood, plastic; self noise of home stereo amplifiers, loudspeakers and record players”. The composer reports that the pieces were inspired by “sound moments”, something captured from the surroundings and somehow combined in segments of 10 to 20 seconds “until each piece took on a feel and sense of its own”. The outcome is indeed repeatedly breathtaking, a vibe of utter suspension-in-tension that waits for the flick of a switch to be released in copious quantities of fury. The problem is that the switch can’t be found anywhere, so everything remains unexploded in between corpulent quakes from the underground, shortwave densities and hissing parameters for the garnishment of a weakened rarefaction. A blurred parallelism could be delineated in a hybrid of John Duncan, Asher and Bernhard Günter, minus the dynamic oscillations, more towards the “dissipation of energy” zone. An impression of penumbral reclusion – lasting under 30 minutes – that places this artifact just a step below the chef-d’oeuvre pinnacle.


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