Over the past couple of years I’ve been working on a series of sound rows for various instruments including double bass, cello, electronics, and alto saxophone. Sam Byrd, a percussionist I often have the pleasure of playing with, has recorded three versions of Sound Row No. 7. His thoughtful interpretations are available here, on his website.
(A general description of the series, from the performer’s note:
The idea behind the sound rows is a simple one: Take a closed, ordered set of sound events, and play each event once, in order, with a discernible rest in between each event. These events are made up of sounds, gestures, pitches and articulations realized through conventional and extended techniques; the scores are presented as lists of simple verbal instructions.
The purpose of the sound row is to draw out as much timbral or other sonic variation as can be had with a single gesture. Latent within the rows’ limited material is the possibility of sonic variety—a possibility arising from the potential richness in color harbored within each sound, pitch or gesture. The realization of this sonic richness is a function of the performer’s choices and preferences which, when realized, can make of each sound in the row a kind of theme liable to variation. Gestures can—and inevitably will—reflect the individual bodily responses of the performer, and these will be different for everyone.)
Project 6’27” is a collaborative project by the fine Venetian saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Mauro Sambo. Mauro recorded a ground track of percussion, zither and electronics lasting exactly 6 minutes and 27 seconds, and sent it to collaborators who then recorded their own 6’27” long tracks for Mauro to mix into the ground track. The piece is always the same and yet always different, thanks to the underlying constant of Mauro’s track and the manifold responses to it coming from a diverse, international group of contributors. As Mauro puts it, “I like the idea of how it can change the work, the infinite possibilities of assimilation and return from the musicians involved.” Fascinating to listen to, and a great pleasure to participate in. My contribution is here.
WAMU has a thoughtful piece by Justyn Withay on An Eclipse of Images, as part of its Bandwidth series. Very nice to be able to talk about the ideas behind the music.
And nice to have our NPR station taking an active interest in experimental musicians here, thanks to editor Joe Warminsky. There have been recent pieces on Insect Factory, James Wolf, and the 2016 Sonic Circuits Festival.
The Italian music site So What? has a nice review of An Eclipse of Images. My quick English translation:
Two creative minds that in coming together create a free and indefinable flow of electroacoustic twists in constant search of balance. “An Eclipse of Images”, a collaborative work by Massimo Discepoli and Daniel Barbiero and released by Acustronica, is nourished by and grows out of premises and methods large and varied.
The seven tracks on the album are the result of different processes of realization, balanced between structured composition and improvisation, which are able to bring out the technical and artistic talents of the two authors in an ongoing dialogue which sees them alternating in the foreground and often preferring the power of counterpoint to the obvious safety of proceeding in unison. The rich shading derived from Discepoli’s rhythmic evolutions attach to the dreamy textures of Barbiero’s bass (“Autopoiesis”, “An Eclipse Of Images: Gathering In”, “An Eclipse Of Images: Atopos”), and at times emerges insistently and strongly above the lyrical and classical textures designed by the American musician (“The Occulted Measure”, “Under the Stream of Consciousness”). The injection of chiseled synthetic grafts constantly acts as an amalgamation and contributes, through a layering of sound sources, to the creation of a suggestive and visceral ambience that occasionally veers toward a darker and more rarefied atmosphere (“Multiple Horizons”, “Transparency and Its Shadow “).
A collaboration that certainly is successful, and interesting especially for its ability to generate a “hybrid” (as Barbiero calls it in the liner notes) able to escape any attempt to categorize.
An Eclipse of Images has just been released by Acustronica. Get it here!
NIce review of An Eclipse of Images from Traks (in Italian).
Video from our performance at Rhizome 27 August.Sam Byrd, drums; Jimmy Ghaphery, alto saxophone.
Video courtesy of Synthador.