Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Rock
Music as vibration.
Víctor Sánchez | Mexico City, Mexico | 11/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Written for seven soprano saxophones overdubbed in unison, "Instrumental Songs" is composed of arrangements of previously released tracks: Not at Home, Multiple 12, 4 Mains, Salerness, At home, Inegys, and Tour tour in that order. Unison writing is a much cherished technique used by Mertens throughout his career with mixed results. The effect in this recording is rather subtle but quite effective. It demands careful listening, though. The superposition of the seven instruments enhances the harmonics, giving every single note a vibrational quality, a kind of aura or echo where microtonal intervals can be heard. This is especially apparent in long, sustained notes where music seems to dilute in a mantra-like "space" of pure vibration. The effect is similar to that used at the end of the 20-minute long "Whisper Me", one of Merten's most famous tracks where the musical relates to the mystical. The juxtaposition of very quick passages full of short notes with long and slow ones also modifies the way time is perceived.
I wouldn't recommend this CD to everyone. First of all because the minimalistic repetition is taken to an almost psychotropic-ecstatic extreme and because a certain acquaintance with the re-worked pieces is necessary to fully appreciate these arrangements. The original ones are not easily recognized, though. For instance, "Pranzo" is the clarinet part of the lovely Tout tour (released in "Struggle for Pleasure" and "The Belly of an Architect"); deprived from the other voices and accompaniments this track remains nonsensical if you don't listen to the very essence of music: the vibration that every note, in fact, is. John Cage would be pleased: music -art- as a means of attending what we usually don't.
Note: harmonics is a phenomenon which consists in that every tone "contains" all the others in itself. Play any tone and all the other tones resonate in the "background". This is happening all the time and can always be listened, but this album brings it to the forefront.