“For Pauline” reviewed by Fluid Sonic Fluctuations

Hello, I’m excited to present to you my first advance review on this blog of an upcoming release, in this case on CRÓNICA. This is the new Limited Edition Cassette and Digital Album release by ISABEL LATORRE & EDU COMELLES titled FOR PAULINE, it will be released on both formats on November 20, but I can give you all an advance review of what you can expect from this excellent new 47 minute tape. The version I’m reviewing here is the promo version of the Digital Album, which is in 16-bit/44.1kHz CD quality and comes with the cover art in good resolution as well as a promo PDF file detailing the release.

FOR PAULINE is a tape which became a tribute to legendary American composer, accordionist and experimental music artist Pauline Oliveros who passed away in 2016. As written in the PDF file, the first piece Isabel Latorre Plays Pauline Oliveros (Live recording 27.05.2017) is a live recording by EDU COMELLES of ISABEL LATORRE’S performance at Ensems Festival 2017 in which she interpreted Oliveros’ Deep Listening theories and philosphy. The piece was commissioned by COMELLES in 2016, but when Oliveros’ passed away in November of that year, the music suddenly became a tribute to her. And, indeed the piece is a really well fitting tribute, full of intense resonating tones and harmonics, tonal tension and occasional dissonance. LATORRE’S accordion at points sounds almost electronic, at other times purely acoustic and organic. In waves the piece floats, progresses, rises and falls full of rich textures, sometimes whirring like electrity, the accordion fluttering around a sharp drone. The music builds to a tense cloud of dissonance until it falls into silence and in the second half builds from the sounds of air flowing throw the accordion to a stretched drone accompanied by LATORRE’s voice. There’s some lovely phasing going on in the resonances and harmonics within the accordion’s wave of drone, giving it a texture that’s both sharp and flowing, the drone moves forward with more diffuse noisy accordion mechanics sounds waving through the drone like wind rattling leaves of trees. The drone then fades out into quiet soft high harmonics, into a quiet sonic feeling of piece. A very good performance, which definitely also recalled a lot of Oliveros’ works with resonances and harmonics fluctating and mixing as can be heard in the electronic pieces on Important Records’ box set Reverberations. La Isla Plana is the piece by EDU COMELLES, created using samples of LATORRE’s accordion, as well as a Shruti box. Just like the first track, it’s an intensely droning piece, though this one is a bit more continous in its progression and there’s more gradual flow to it. The drone features acoustic tones but also tones that are slightly glitched up in the mixture. It’s a pretty jumpy way of glitching but it works. The first half blends in all these sounds in various harmonic combinations, waves flowing like the see. Acoustic and electronic manipulation blended into a subtle sharp glow of rich sonics. The second half fades into one melodic pattern that gets repeated as a focus and keeps building the sonics on this, with waves of hissing noisy sound and sharper phasing drone fading into the foreground, the sound image also gets deeper and wider in this second half, very impressive, captivating and entrancing drone that tightly grips you in a gorgeous cloud of sound. The piece also ends in a soft ambience of phasing harmonics, almost fading into just one note of the drone mixture, all out into the distance. Awesome piece.

FOR PAULINE perfectly encapsulates Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening concepts and experimentation with natural and modified resonances into an enjoyable and deep listening experience of excellent electro-acoustic music. It’s a tape release of music that Olveros herself would have definitely loved herself too, I feel and is a great work that continues the legacy of research, experimentation and music with which Oliveros inspired many musicians. An excellent recommended tape. Orlando Laman

via Fluid Sonic Fluctuations

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