“Happiness Will Befall” reviewed by Gaz-Eta

Lawrence English’s “Ghost Towns” [Room 40] was a personal revelation to me. This Australian sound artist basically visited a number of ghost towns in the back lands of his native land to uncover sounds that are barely audible to the human ear. This time around, his newest release “Happiness Will Befall” is more concerned with the computer generated sounds. Aural landscapes he puts down here on his computer and with his guitar are stark, direct, sometimes brutal but always unnerving. On “Parallel (midgap)”, he explores an extremely high-pitched squeaky sound, that by the middle of the piece exacts pain in your ears. Underneath this sound, there is lurking of a processed guitar, which in itself is an interesting juxtaposition. “Within Confines of Glass” once again repeats the process. Starting off with a wash of repetitive wash-out sounds, it progresses into a more subtle mid-section [where things calm down for a couple of minutes], ending up with a mad processed guitar onslaught at the end. Other pieces take a more laid-back approach and don’t attack your ears with nearly as much force. When all is said and done, “Happiness Will Befall” is an unsettling affair from a composer who seems somewhat schizophrenic, one who is still searching for his “way”. Then again, who knows maybe he’s already found his way?

Tom Sekowski

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