New release: @c’s “Installations: Seis Elementos”

During the twenty-plus years of their collaboration as @c, Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais’s work has spanned composition and performance but also, and prominently, several installations, often site-specific and ephemeral works that have at most been documented with short videos. Crónica’s latest series of releases is dedicated to systematic documentation and revisitation of these installation works. Its goal is not only to record in situ registrations of the works — although in some cases that may be the selected approach — but rather to revisit recordings, the computational systems developed for the works, archival materials, and other assets, and to present new compositions that unfold from each of the installations. The first release in this series is Seis Elementos (six elements), after the installation of the same title that was shown at the Rectory of the University of Porto in 2016.

Seis Elementos was created from found materials, with physical elements recovered from the deposits of the University of Porto, and sonic elements found in databases and in the artists’ archives. These elements were the starting point for a creative process that involved the occupation of the room and the development of an open work of construction during which the piece was shaped by the context, by random events, coincidences, and articulations. The outcome of this was a physical body constructed out of valchromat, glass, LED lamps, steel cables, loudspeakers, sound and electric cables, audio DVDs, and multichannel sound that expanded through the room and from where sound radiated, resonating with space. This structure was the foundation for a network of matter, events, and rhythms that was open to the visitors’ exploration and interpretation.

The installation was shown from October to November 2016 and was documented in a video by Patrícia Viana Almeida. This work was commissioned for the event Space, Body, and Well-Being, head curator João Paulo Vilas-Boas, curated by José Carlos de Paiva and Luís Pinto Nunes.

Installations: Seis Elementos” is now available for stream and download.

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David Lee Myers’s “Reduced to a Geometrical Point” reviewed by Beach Sloth

David Lee Myers continues his legend with the meditative suites of “Reduced to a Geometrical Point”. Noise music, at least for the aficionados, can be seen to be the other side of that ambience coin. At first grating, it eventually gives way to something far different, a trip of sorts. While David Lee Myers may not be a household name for noise heads, his work as Arcane Device certainly serves as some of the best noise music to come out of the 90s. Featuring some truly abrasive textures Arcane Device managed to land some records with RRR Records run by Ron Lessard, another legend within the US noise community. With this album David takes his lessons learned from those old projects to reconfigure them into a transcendental experience.

Uneasy buzzing opens the album up with “Laurentia”. With an eerie ominous tone about it, the drone extends off into the infinite. Volume needs to be watched for he does take things further than one would expect. Over the course of the piece, it begins to shift into lighter textures, featuring rather exquisite fragments of melody. Quite mystical “Pannotia” brings the tension down to reside within a strange, looping groove. “Gondwana” mixes both the harshness and the airiness in, never neatly settling into either. Easily the loudest and most industrial churn radiates from the extended shapes of “Pangea”.

“Reduced to a Geometrical Point” features an exquisite take on a unique combination of ambient and noise, in a way that only David Lee Myers, an individual well versed in both, can do. 

via Beach Sloth

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New release: David Lee Myers’s “Reduced to a Geometrical Point”

I am not an advocate of “music for meditation” and in fact believe that to be a completely misguided notion. However, I have observed that some audio constructions seem to encourage a posture of staying in the moment. This has proven to be a fascination over time. As I began the present sonic explorations, a quote from metaphysics scholar Frithjof Schuon kept coming to mind: “You must detach your life from an awareness of the multiple and reduce it to a geometrical point before God.” Certainly, Schuon was not referring to any particular Judeo-Christian vision of a supreme being, but rather, whatever ultimate creative force of the universe which must exist. So becoming “reduced to a geometrical point before God” was a concept that resonated for me while working on the pieces. 

That said, as the tracks developed I, as usual, gave them temporary working titles, in this case, Geo 1, etc. After a time I suddenly realized that the designation Geo implied a reference to our Earth and that this could suggest an additional meaning to the music. There is this geometrical point, but also the greater context of the world at large. Could these sounds remind one of the microcosmos and macrocosmos simultaneously? I hope not a pretentious assertion. — DLM

Tracklist:

  1. GEO 1 Laurentia (17:24)
  2. GEO 2 Pannotia (12:04)
  3. GEO 3 Gondwana (14:22)
  4. GEO 4 Pangaea (16:15)

Feedback matrices, oscillator banks, and multi-processing by David Lee Myers. Recorded at Pulsewidth NYC, 2020–2021 and mastered at Crónica. Artwork by DLM.

David Lee Myers is a sound and visual artist living in New York City. He has had over thirty recordings released under his own name and also as Arcane Device by Starkland, Crónica, Generator, ReR, Line, Silent, Pogus, RRRecords, Staalplaat, Monochrome Vision, and many other labels. Collaborations have been produced with Gen Ken Montgomery, Thomas Dimuzio, Ellen Band, guitarist Marco Oppedisano, and Dirk Serries (VidnaObmana). Two Albums were created with legendary electronic pioneer Tod Dockstader, and with Hamburg’s master sound manipulator Asmus Tietchens five projects have been released. Myers has performed his sounds and visuals at New York’s Generator, The Kitchen, Roulette, Experimental Intermedia, Knitting Factory, Clocktower, MoMA/PS1, Outpost Artists Resources, Trans Pecos and Silent Barn, as well as the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Boston Museum of Modern art, among others.

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New release: Lucas Alvarado’s “La Ausencia Como Lenguaje”

Crónica is delighted to present Lucas Alvarado’s debut in the label with La Ausencia Como Lenguaje.

La Ausencia Como Lenguaje is comprised of a series of sound reflections on the absence of people in sites built by and for humans, and about the absence of art in our reality. Abandonment and absence are sometimes thought of as being consequences of crisis, but they became essential traits of our cultural landscape in a post-pandemic time.

Lucas Alvarado is a Chilean composer and viola da gamba player, based in France. He studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Lyon and the Hochschule für Musik in Leipzig, specialising in early music and electroacoustic composition. Currently, in Lyon, he develops a multidisciplinary project that fuses medieval music, electronic composition, dance and video mapping. At the same time, he is an artist-in-residence as DJ for Noods Radio (UK), Radio Béguin (Fr) and Kapital Radio (Pl) making broadcasts around the world, experimental music, field recordings and sound art.

La Ausencia Como Lenguaje is now available for stream or download.

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David Lee Myers’s “Reduced to a Geometrical Point” reviewed by Downtown Music Gallery

Myers’s Cronica CD debut is an entirely different kettle of fish compared to the kind of work he produced on his sister Arcane Device release, the yin to Nodes’ yang, psyche to drama. If anything, this lengthy, four-track recording of miasmic, buzzing drone and minimalist linear formatting resurrects the original AD motivators but recontextualizes them in the service of ‘meditative’ music in the abstract, as the artist himself concedes in the liners. At first glance, this material is hardly what one might use to achieve contemplative, low-energy/impact balance; the brillo-like textures and tart flavor of these pieces suggest Phill Niblock picking o’er the bones of early, discarded tones, or Merzbow in a unusually warm and fuzzy mood. Further investigation reveals that Myers is keen on situating the listener in the moment, as he notes, rather than shattering the silence; one’s ears become intensely dialed-in to these oscillating penumbras, surrendering to their concentrated magnetism instead of ‘using’ them for more mentally restrictive purposes. To that end, the music works on a variety of levels. The Earth signifiers of each track, prefaced “Geo”, do certainly suggest the tug and pull of crumbling tectonic plates, immense continental divides altering their positions, and the constant magma flow of terran topography. So “Laurentia” feels rugged, sharp, and as thoroughly enigmatic as a specimen of smoky quartz; “Pannotia” is a study of abject trills whose vibrations respirate like the warbling timbres of ancient monks; “Gondwana”, with its high-altitude pitch and mysterious undertow, drills black holes through the firmament; the concluding “Pangaea” hints at the explosive aftermath when gigantic landmasses collide. Awe-inspiring stuff this, nary a dull moment, and immersive as all get-out. No matter how you slice it, Myers’s is simply one of the most original electronic musicians on the planet. – Darren Bergstein

via Downtown Music Gallery

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Francisco López’s “DSB” reviewed by The Sound Projector

Another strong release from Francisco López, the very prolific sound artist whose passion and headstrong ways often lead him to make grand gestures and pronouncements, along with the music. Today on DSB (CRONICA 166-2021) he is reiterating – absolutely verbatim – the claims made for a 2018 release untitled#360 for the Emitter Micro label in Berlin, and noted here. The relevant passage is “an astonishing reversal of the traditional widespread subservience of sound to story-telling” and “the open shell of an apparent narrative becoming sound work”.

These phrases, and the artistic intention, continue to apply to today’s release, the cassette DSB. As with the 2018 record, my take is that he’s pretty much producing a very artistic sound-effects record, but at the same time López wishes quite strongly that we don’t hear it as a story or narrative, and just concentrate on the “new form of weird experimental music” that he offers. This is extremely difficult given the generous amount of the content on the tape, and the fact that it’s very redolent of a radiophonic play; one can’t help but hear it as the story of a submarine, possibly during wartime, with a brief strafe of gunfire and bomb explosions from an air attack, followed by lots of sub-aquatic adventures and some flurries of wind and rain when the sub surfaces now and again. For the “interior” scenes, López has much fun with the submarine’s sonar pulses and humming boxes of electrical equipment, weaving it into the general fabric of DSB and supplying plenty drama.

I fully appreciate this is not the desired response, but on the other hand it’s good to hear this sometimes-austere Spanish fellow injecting a lot more maximalism into his work. Known for years as a master of silence and inaudible records, he currently seems to be enjoying a purple patch where the joys of noise and incident can be savoured. I’m all for it…we dive at dawn! Ed Pinsent

via The Sound Projector

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David Lee Myers’s “Reduced to a Geometrical Point” reviewed by Vital Weekly

Sometimes I need to repeat myself (I don’t mind), and surely I wrote the next thing before: ever since I stumbled upon music by David Lee Myers, I am a big fan. I guess it was already with his LP, ‘Engine Of Myth, for the unlikely label Recommended Records (not always known for the most out-there sort of electronic music). That was under the guise of Arcane Device, which he continued throughout the nineties. For many years, he releases under his given name. What I found fascinating about his music was that he used feedback, but in a much different way than those who called themselves power electronics, say Whitehouse or Ramleh. There was more control and less abuse; almost like a grandson of the fifties and sixties composers of serious electronic music. On this new release, he works with the notion of “audio constructions [that] seem to encourage a posture of staying in the moment. This has proven to be a fascination over time.” You can call it music for meditation, but Myers says he doesn’t like that. He also says that “as I began the present sonic explorations, a quote from metaphysics scholar Frithjof Schuon kept coming to mind: “You must detach your life from an awareness of the multiple and reduce it to a geometrical point before God.” Certainly, Schuon was not referring to any particular Judeo-Christian vision of a supreme being, but rather, whatever ultimate creative force of the universe must exist. So becoming “reduced to a geometrical point before God” was a concept that resonated for me while working on the pieces.” The working titles he used, ‘Geo 1’ etc, became an Earth reference, maybe adding meaning to the music. Maybe not. Myers uses “feedback matrics, oscillator banks,  and multi-processing”, which is not much different from when he started, but maybe the means are a bit more sophisticated? This is not really meditative music, of course, certainly not when the volume is put to a level that has a bit more presence. I am sure some people love their meditation to be loud, but the music as played by David Lee Myers is at times too dirty and strange to do such a thing, but, yes, people are strange as mister Morrison once sang, so for all I know, people might find this an excellent soundtrack for some deep meditation. I enjoy such things differently, I guess, not being too much interested in meditation (which, despite advancing age, and peers doing so, still is not a thing for me), but I enjoy my minimal music a lot. The variation played by Myers is one of considerable force and bruitist style, but also with some finer sustaining powers, sticking into a sound for a while, before slowly morphing into something else. It may no longer have the raw power of his earliest work (which also back then quickly toned down), but it is still a most enjoyable ride for about an hour or so. Maybe not really a big surprise anymore, but yet another high-quality work by one of the best when it comes to playing imaginative electronic music and with a strong voice of his own. (FdW)

via Vital Weekly

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Yiorgis Sakellariou’s “Degti” reviewed by Blow Up

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“Deriva” reviewed by Revue & Corrigée

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Yiorgis Sakellariou’s “Degti” reviewed by Music Map

Yorgis Sakellariou ha un curriculum interessante: musicista, artista del suono, accademico. Una figura affascinante. Poi ascolti questo album (uscito per Crónica Records) e ti cadono le braccia. “Ma, Matteo è un album sperimentale!” la mia vocina interna decanta ciò. E la mia risposta, per dirla all’inglese …and these birds!

Ho capito che non si ascolta della sperimentazione come se si ascoltasse Ramazzotti (non ho mai commesso questo errore, di ascoltare Eros, intendo), però “fare sperimentazione” non vuol dire fare qualsiasi peto sonoro che ci passa per la testa.

Quello di Sakellariou non lo è affatto, a essere precisi. Tuttavia, se non fosse per la solita spiegazione che accompagna l’opera, uno non lo apprezzerebbe per niente.

Entriamo nel dettaglio, sono registrazioni sul campo in Grecia e Lituania, ma potrebbero essere delle registrazioni fatte all’Ilva di Taranto o alla Alfa Romeo di Arese. Non farebbe alcuna differenza. Sono rumori di fabbrica, in cui l’artista chiede all’ascoltatore di reimmaginare le registrazioni, create apposta senza ragione.

Yiorgis sostiene che la parte meccanica materialista si trasforma, evolvendosi, in qualcosa di spirituale. Io direi che dobbiamo reimmaginare i suoni, perché suoni ce ne sono ben pochi. In termini tecnici la chiamerei una “parasederata” per non essere volgari. Senza ombra di dubbio, come esibizione susciterebbe molto più interesse, ma non era obbligatorio farci un album. O forse sono un grande ignorante. Come diceva il commendatore Zampetti: N.C.S. Non Ci Siamo. (Matteo Preabianca)

via Music Map

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