(Another Timbre)

“Hum” was recorded at London’s Red Rose in June 2007 and re-launches the quest for new expressive methods in that area of EAI which mainly deals with constituents such as air, saliva, friction. The instrumentation – harp & objects, trumpet & electronics, flute and bass clarinet – makes for some pretty damn fine moments of fascinating interaction, with Matt Davis’ electronics often constituting an element of menacing doubt amidst a detailed suspension characterized by various types of overtones that peep first, clash later, look for a meeting point somewhere in the middle. “Two” wears the timbral components down to frazzles, giving the music a far-reaching anxiousness standing miles away from self-indulgence, on the contrary taking advantage of the whole dynamic range to explant any hope from whoever expects vibrations of peace and love to edulcorate an improvisation. It’s virtually impossible to quantify the single contributions to the body of the performance, despite the extreme clarity of the recording (courtesy of Graham Halliwell’s sapient microphone placing). While breath is obviously a common denominator – although fragmented to minuscule crumbles, oppressive exhalations and guttural snaps – it is when Davies’ harp resonates vigorously that the music assumes a totally different weight, transforming the seducing, if somehow acrid gracility of Rebello and Saade’s microscopic elaboration into a muscular buzzing torso that David Jackman would almost envy. Tracks like “One” and “Four” bring us back, for long instants, to the golden era of reductionism but the tendencies to silence are soon removed in favour of gentle droning and mechanical tampering in between piercing shrieks and malevolent low-tone resurgences. A distinct urban cloud underlines the seagull-like harmonics heard at the beginning of “Five”, scraped strings and scattered noises dematerializing pigmentations and suggestions down to a combustible absence of meaning.

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