Monday, January 30, 2012

Desiring Machines, "MicroMeditations," Paul Hartsaw and Company's Poignant Essay in Pure Avant

Desiring Machines is an improvisa- tional quartet dedicated to realizing a pure sound poetics that avoids conven- tional musical phrases and periodicity for an abstract series of essays in sound color spontaneity. The electronics and live processing of Brian Labycz conjoin with the no-output turntable manipulations of Aaron Zarzutski to form the unconventional sound production half of the group; Paul Hartsaw on soprano, tenor and pocket trumpet & Kevin William Davis on cello work at advanced sound production techniques on conventional instruments.

MicroMeditations (MetastableSound 014) is the 2010 release of their music, which has the rigor of the later Stockhausen improvisational ensembles plus the AMM, MEV attention to space and semi-flatness of trajectory that owes something to the pioneering works of John Cage from the later '50s-early-'60s.

For this sort of thing to work, there should be keen attention and focus from all participants, a desire to interact without responding strictly in kind, a sure and imaginative sense of the sound color blend to be achieved at any given moment.

This group has all of that. They create a worthy tapestry of sound in 45 minutes of sustained inspiration. Nice job!!

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