Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Markus Reuter's "Todmorden 513:" Algorithmic Poetics
Markus Reuter has created an hour-long piece for ten players based on the algorithmic trans- formation, extension and reordering of musical material. He calls the work Todmorden 513. That the work is the product of some sophisticated methodological approaches is not uninteresting. But I've stayed away from that at this point to concentrate on a deep listening of the work.
And having done this I come up for air to write up what I am feeling as I hear it. First off I must say that this is a continuously flowing sound world of great beauty and great mystery. It has the long formed horizontal quality of the best ambient works of our age. And at the same time it has a logically unfolding quality and structure that brings it into the "serious work" category. I am tempted to add "whatever that means," but I think those who devote any time to the new music world we live in will understand. This is music of substance, not just mood.
It is music that has a four-dimensional feel to it. There are varying degrees of density and depth, transparency and opacity. It is lyrical without being directly manipulative of the melodic cells usually associated with such lyricism. Long tones and shorter bursts work together to create a universe of sound that has real poignancy. It is music of a different sort of consonance, a long float in an anechoic chamber of tones, added tones, and sound colors of enduring sprawl.
I would venture to say that this is an important work. How important I will leave to others to decide.
Go to http://www.todmorden513.com to find out how to get access to this music.