@c’s “Espaço, Pausa, Repetição” reviewed by Vital Weekly

There is quite a story behind this release by @C, the duo of Pedro Tudela and Miguel Carvalhais, who are also behind the Cronica Electronica label. The music here is part of a new work for the Exhibitions Pavilion of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto (still going until June) and @C are using sound sources by more than fifty musicians with whom the label worked in the last fifteen years, from Alex FX to Yiorgis Sakellariou – to give you the alpha and omega here. If you contributed, and you bet I did, it is a great sport hearing your own samples back in this work. The ‘work’ here is an installation piece, “an area for a multisensory immersive experience that incited a dialogue with the sound objects, the architectural space and its visitors. An infrastructure built from speakers, flooring, light, fragrance, and a hovering frame, set a stage for the creation of a nonlinear, generative and open algorithmic composition for computer and speakers. This area was a pivotal point for listening, but it also steered visitors to move, leaving the ideal listening point and exploring the exhibition space to discover how different perspectives over the sonic matter could be attained through its traversal” (sorry for the long quote, but couldn’t have said it better myself). The fifty artists supplied 300 smaller and bigger sounds and the two twenty-six minute pieces on this cassette use the generative system used in the installation but intended to be independent compositions. Both pieces are a myriad of sounds, tumbling and falling together and it sounds like the best of @C (even when it has surely been a while since I last heard their music). It is not easy to find a narrative in here, a guide, a line or whatever, as at times it is some wild chaos, but as a stream of consciousness, it works quite well. On the other side we find “Repetição” (Repetition), which has texts from “Le solfège de l’objet sonore” (Music Theory of the Sound Object), and Pierre Henry’s “House of Sounds”, also spaces concerning sound. Here the text is incorporated in the music and while some of the chaos remains, the modern version of musique concrete, there is more sense of spacing (pun perhaps intended) and it makes a great narrative that allows you not to pay too much attention to the voices. In here I recognized some voices of a then four-year-old year girl, who played a part on one of the earliest releases on this label, and who is now some sixteen years older. Times flies indeed. This is quite a successful release, most enjoyable. (FdW)

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