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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“GML Variations” reviewed by Neural

GML Variations by Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudela stems from an initial composition presented alongside other works in a public screening at the Casa da Música, in Porto. The focus of this event was the Robotic Gamelan, a complex instrument developed in 2008/2009 by Rui Penha, José Luís Azevedo and Miguel Ferraz that involves a network of robots capable of playing the Javanese gamelan. The unusual apparatus, originally designed for use by people with reduced mobility, is controlled by a computer that sends serial information using Max/MSP and can be operated by performing simple movements, captured by the sensors that are incorporated into the system. The piece was presented in January 2018 and shortly after recorded in the same location. Carvalhais and Tudela returned to that recording several times, manipulating and processing samples, adding original materials and finally developing the four variations and the final track on the album. Many of the new sound structures were latent in the composition and the duo had to do nothing but make them manifest, impressing a different perspective on the same work. What seems obvious to us is how the very clear percussions evolve into digital sounds, creating somewhat strange and fascinating amalgamations, with iridescent layers, often overlaid by electronic noise that surrounds the gamelan sound. If a gamelan is an entity whose instruments are built and tuned to play together, even the electronics in this case adapt to the tones and atmospheres produced by the robotic set of instruments. In these GML Variations, the technique of contrasting acoustic instruments and digital developments in an exaggerated manner is never used. The quality and coherence of @c’s compositions are always outstanding. In listening the electroacoustic elements blend beautifully with the ethereal, abstract and spatial digital treatments. Not satisfied, Pedro Tudela has also released a box set reminiscent of the great installation awdiˈtɔrju held at MAAT, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, in Lisbon, whose vinyl release once more includes a studio remix of installation samples.

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New release: Yiorgis Sakellariou’s “Degti”

Degti was premiered on September 12, 2019 at Vilniaus Degtinė, a vodka factory in Vilnius, during the Muzika Erdvėje festival, with an audience consisting solely of Vilniaus Degtinė employees. Degti invites listeners to re-imagine the recordings made at the factory not as a soundtrack of labour, monotony and production but as a ghostly presence, purposely created to be purposeless. It celebrates mechanical character while attempting to remove links to specific sounding objects. This dual identity within the machines, partly material and partly transcendental, unfolds in compositional time during which matter transforms into spirit while spirit is embodied in the machines.

Be Pavadinimo was composed in 2019, based on environmental sounds recorded in various locations in Greece and Lithuania. Variations of the piece were performed in POKŠT Gallery in Utena and in Kirtimų Kultūros Centras in Vilnius.

Yiorgis Sakellariou is a composer of experimental and electroacoustic music. Since 2003 he has been active internationally, publishing solo and collaboration albums and presenting numerous sonic performances. He has composed music for short films and theatre plays, led workshops and moderated soundwalks.

His practice focuses on the communal experience of listening and the communication between composer, audiences, performance spaces and the rest of the physical and supernatural world. He only performs in absolute darkness, fostering an all-inclusive and profoundly submerging sonic experience.

He completed his PhD at Coventry University (April 2018) with research that drew inspiration from ethnomusicological and anthropological contexts and explored the sonic symbolism and socio-aesthetic settings in ecstatic religious rituals in relation to field recording, electroacoustic composition and acousmatic performance.

Yiorgis Sakellariou is a member of the Athenian Contemporary Music Research Centre, the Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers Association and the Lithuanian Composers Union. Since 2004 he has curated the label Echomusic. He is currently a lecturer at Vytautas Magnus University (Faculty of Arts) and at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (Department of Composition).

Degti is now available as a limited-release tape, a download or stream, from Crónica and the usual places. The tape includes an exclusive extra track, Degti (reprise).

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Yiorgis Sakellariou’s “Degti” reviewed by African Paper

Crónica bringen am 22. Juni eine Arbeit des griechischen Komponisten Yiorgis Sakellariou auf Tape heraus. “Degti” ist eine aus zwei elektroakustischen Soundscapes (und einem in der digitalen Versioin nicht enthaltenen Bonustrack) bestehende Arbeit, die vor knapp zwei Jahren in der litauischen Brauerei Vilniaus Degtinė aufgeführt wurde – wie üblich bei Sakellarious Werken im abgedunkelten und so auf die totale Akustik zurückgeworfenen Raum und mit einem ausschließlich aus Mitarbeitern der Brauerei bestehenden Publikum.

Die hier vorliegenden Aufnahmen, die das Soundmaterial der Aufführung enthalten, wurden ebenfalls in den Räumen der Brauerei und mit verschiedenen der dortigen Objekte gemacht. Ihre nachträgliche Unkenntlichmachung in einer dunklen Klanglandschaft transformiert die Fabrik in einen schemenhaften Ort und lässt die klangliche Dokumentation als Geisterarbeit (man muss vielleicht nicht den etwas inflationär und zweckentfremdet gebrauchten Begriff Hauntology verwenden) erscheinen lässt.

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