Gintas K’s “Lėti” reviewed by Classical Music Daily

This is my second review of the works of Gintas K, a fascinating and innovative sound artist, born in Lithuania in 1969 and a person who has generated considerable interest. As with the previous album I reviewed, this electronic music work needs a good sound system or headphones and a nice quiet environment to truly be appreciated. The title of this release, Lėti, is Lithuanian for ‘Slow’ and comprises eleven short tracks.

The first track, Bells, consists of different pitched bells and a rather strange crackly background. It starts off relaxed, and grows in intensity before fading away to silence. The middle section is rather joyous in effect.

The second track, Hallucination, starts in a slightly fragmentary fashion, but a pattern soon emerges that is present throughout the whole track, the sounds around it changes as does the pattern itself, but it is always recognisable and I tend to focus on that more than the sounds around it. The pattern is shortened towards the end of the track, but sometimes the memory fills in the rest. This quite a fascinating movement. It does portray what the title suggests it might.

Track 3, Various, starts almost organ-like and swells and pulses and grows increasingly louder. Eventually it becomes more complex as other sounds cut across and some are absorbed into this pedal note. A slow melodic figure grows around this pedal note. About half way through, the intensity of the pedal note becomes less and the music relaxes and becomes quieter, apart from the rather spiky interjections. This reminds me of some of the very early electronic music I heard in my youth and is the longest work on this disc. Towards the end of the track the music is much less dense and it fades away to a single point of sound.

Variation seems to revolve around the pedal note in the previous track and there are various short abrupt tones that suggest that the pedal is there, without it generally being so. Maybe this is just my imagination, but I believe this music leaves it wide open for you to feel or imagine what you will. Every time I listen, I hear new things and my perspective changes.

Atmosphere, is announced by a couple of guitar notes, and then a dense field is built up around that, sometimes two note patterns, sounds that are a little like whale song, again with a pedal being maintained, although this does change in pitch slightly as the work progresses. This track is certainly atmospheric, perhaps also being a statement of the atmosphere that envelopes and nourishes us all.

Savage begins with a core distorted sound that becomes the pedal around which other sounds move. This grows in intensity as the movement progresses, and in the middle grows rather menacingly and the activity generally becomes more intense. This starts subsiding towards the end and the movement ends quite abruptly.

Guitar is a short track of recorded and filtered guitar sounds that have other sounds added around them. The internal resonance of the guitar is also either captured or simulated, and the three-note guitar figure that repeats throughout the movement is the unifying factor.

Nice Pomp is interesting and varied with bell sounds and organ, and is quite melodic and relaxing. Even though the overall pulse is slow, the work is busy with many different sounds and effects that create a rich tapestry without overwhelming. In the middle, excitement bubbles over and the music becomes quite exultant before becoming calmer. Just when you think it has stopped, it bubbles up again and then rapidly subsides.

Query begins with a fairly rapid rhythmic pulse over a pedal and other sounds start growing around it, including some bell effects, some of which sound like an alarm bell. This grows in intensity and then subsides but the whisper of a pedal, maintained in the bell, remains as the music disappears into silence leaving the idea of the query behind.

Track 10 is entitled Ambient. This music grows from nothing and a chord emerges, again with a pedal note underneath. On this CD, the pedal note seems to be a frequently used device. In this movement it comes and goes but there is always one present in one or another register. There is a bubbly background and the music is quiet and reflective.

The final track, Bonus Sound, grows like a swarm of bumble bees that create the pedal around the note A. The sounds around it that grow in the middle suggest a melody, but every time I listen, the melody seems to slightly change with my awareness.

This CD is not something that everyone would appreciate, but again there are rich rewards for those that do. The Gintas K works I’ve heard impress me because they are free from gimmicks or pretentiousness and are honest. There seems to be a unifying factor and sense of purpose that leads you gently but purposely, but does not thrust itself upon you. I did enjoy this journey. Geoff Pearce

via Classical Music Daily

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