“For Pauline” reviewed by Ambient Blog

A few months before Pauline Oliveros passed away (November 2016), Edu Comelles commisioned a concert by accordionist Isabelle Latorre meant to be a free musical interpretation of Oliveros’ ‘Deep Listening‘ theories. The concert, premiered at the Ensems Festival early 2017, thus became a very special tribute to the life, work and philosophy of Pauline Oliveros.

Latorre’s performance takes up side A of this cassette release on Crónica. It’s a single 22 minute piece that starts with quiet prolonged notes but slowly builds up to an emotional climax and then slowly releases its grip again. Not often you will hear the accordion played this way – unless you are already familiar with Oliveros’ work, of course.

For La Isla Plana, the second piece on this cassette, Edu Comelles sampled Isabel’s instrument and arranged the samples into a completely different composition. He connects the recorded samples using a Shruti Box to create a background drone La Isla Plana sounds organic (because of its sound sources) and detached at the same time.

A very honest, heartfelt tribute to a legendary artist, who taught us the art of ‘deep listening’. Peter van Cooten

via ambientblog.net

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New release: Luís Antero & Darius Čiuta’s “Sound”

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Crónica is proud to greet 2019 with its first release for the year, Luís Antero & Darius Čiuta’s “Sound”. This album is the outcome of an exploratory process that searched for a new sonic experience in digital form, created without resorting to conventional sources. It is the outcome of a dual process that expresses the metaphysical nature of sound. As such it is a piece that is two forms: a sonic and a graphic instantiation, containing the same information.

Tracklist:

  1. G (29:00)
  2. S (33:36)

Luís Antero is a sound artist that captures and documents the acoustic heritage in Portugal. Darius Čiuta is a sound artist living and working in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Sound” is available as a free download from Crónica.

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Soon in Crónica: Luís Antero & Darius Čiuta’s “Sound”

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Soon in Crónica: Luís Antero & Darius Čiuta’s “Sound”

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“For Pauline” reviewed by Fluid Radio

Valencia’s accordionist and composer Isabel Latorre and sound artist Edu Comelles met in 2016. A couple of months down the line, and Comelles had commissioned a concert for Latorre: an interpretation on the Deep Listening philosophies and principles of Pauline Oliveros. The commission was scheduled to be premiered at the Ensems Festival in 2017, of which Comelles was the curator. But later on in the year, on 24 November 2016, Oliveros sadly passed away; the composition and commission became a eulogy. A central figure in the development and exploration of experimental music, Oliveros was one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century. For Pauline has much of the same ethos and spirit.

Isabel Latorre has studied Pauline’s music to such an extent that she performs in a similar vein, with a great deal of maturity and concentration but never forgetting the stunning magic of its creation. Latorre, already deep within her philosophies and submerged in the moods of the music – both physically and emotionally – kept on going, and her live performance is a heartfelt dedication. From the moment of its inception, and as a reaction to her passing, the music veered away from its original intention, and this has resulted in a very different work. The live performance, recorded at the end of May 2017, is at almost twenty-two minutes a long-form piece where, after a quiet opening, elongated tones gradually begin to stir, stretching their limbs in a high, bright, and sharp register before overlapping, evolving over the course of the first five minutes to produce a range of quiet gymnastics.

It’s gloriously playful, as all experimental music should be, but it’s edged with a serious intention. After simmering for some time, the music’s distant, occasional percussion and laser-like tones begin to bubble and froth, rising up, pulsing, building strong dynamics and engaging the listener with the strobing electronics. The electronics wash in and out of sight, demanding one’s attention while swaying like a pendulum. Benevolent or threatening, the intent is never made clear. One thing’s for sure: they come close enough to touch, invading the listener’s personal space before backing up, rocking from side to side with a tight, robotic functioning. An accordion blares inarticulate chords. Its screeching sounds are on the verge of leaving rationale behind. That’s the crest of the piece. Everything else becomes quieter after that, retreating back into silence and winking out of existence.

The second piece, ‘La Isla Plana’, was completed a little later, at the end of 2017. Comelles took inspiration from Latorre’s earlier recordings, and the two are somewhat symmetrical. The drone is similar, but the two pieces exist in alternate dimensions. Latorre’s drone is lighter, while ‘La Isla Plana’ is stronger, dripping a dark-red or a metallic crimson, throbbing instead of pulsing. Drones cut a little deeper, and when it comes to volume tampering there’s a little more in the way of variety. The two pieces could be sisters, and they’re both equally playful.

The drones occupying the second side seem to be more aware of their surroundings, their eyes blinking as they look around at the world. As it progresses, the drone moves into the range of a slow melody. And as the track ends, the sound of something like surf enters, foaming white and pushing its thunderous roar into the heart of the drone. This twenty-minute island cleanses the listener, but For Pauline has a much larger message: one of thanks, deep appreciation, and the utmost respect, wearing its influence proudly on its sleeve. James Catchpole

via Fluid Radio

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Natal dos Experimentais 2018

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Síria’s “Cuspo” reviewed by The Wire


Vinyl records, recordings and vocals combine in Portuguese artist Diana Combo’s latest work. I know this, because when you visit Síria’s Bandcamp page, the process of recording is explained. Artists, especially those coming from a visual world before they get engaged in music, love explaining what they do, how they do it, why they do it. How I wish Combo had kept scrum. Totally selfish reasons – self-promotion has to be informative, has to reveal things you’d ordinarily only guess at – but I wish total mystery had been maintained about the means of Cuspo’s creation (it was recorded after its first live performance at a Porto experimental festival in 2017).
The haunting steadiness of Combo’s vocals is key – emotional movement less important than populating the soundscape with a half-human, half-ghostly voice. The way Combo layers the sounds underneath her voice is interesting – sometimes overwhelming the voice in rushes if traffic noise ad city heat (the stunning “A Lua da Eva”), sometimes absconding to a place not quite tranquil, flooded with water, perhaps not even with land underfoot at all. The fact I don’t speak Portuguese is also key – there’s a suggestiveness to the words in a purely phonetic sense that means every moment the voice gets dubbed or echoed (which is often) you’re pulled along its syntactical shape without getting anchored in any frame of reference. That fluidity extends to the sequencing – tracks flow in and out of each other to the point where apertures into other realities seem to open up in your consciousness.
Trippy as fuck but entirely unpsychedelic, this is more like the true unhinged depths of extreme sleep deprivation turned into sound, where lighting seems to always flash from behind you and your peripheral vision hums with life. Freaky in extremis. Neil Kulkarni

via The Wire

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“Täuschung” reviewed by Fluid Sonic Fluctuations


Hello once again, I’m back with this month’s part of my Crónica review series. This time I got for you this album by Davor Mikan titled Täuschung, released in 2007. The 31 track album has a running time of only 38 minutes but is definitely packed with fun minimalist electronic experiments and glitchy goodness. This CD is housed in a clear jewelcase with tracklist and credits listed on the back as well as an 8 page booklet that features photos of various evergreen and other quirky looking kinds of trees in different colours, similar to the Christmas tree on the front cover, really fun little addition to the musical content of this release.

Now, Täuschung definitely reminds me a lot of the approach in composition to Further Consequences of Reinterpretation by Paulo Raposo & Marc Behrens that I reviewed earlier. Here we also have 31 tracks that are mostly very short bits, less than a minute long and most of them vary in sound material from track to track, the sounds on here are often glitchy, minimalist and subtle. Not entirely lowercase really, but rather soft most of the time. Unlike the aforementioned album however Mikan’s sounds are more distorted and a bit more abrasive and humorous at times. Most of the album consists of bursts of glitches, Noise and various mangled sounds, sometimes synths, sometimes guitars or manipulated vocal sounds. It’s not an album that really wants to sound “logic”, rather it jumps from track to track, always giving us a new burst of weird quirky sounds that are most of the time abstract, crushed and distorted. The album’s structure in terms of pacing of the pieces is rather curious as while many tracks jump from one to the other, there’s sometimes some silence in between them. This album does feel like one big piece of music in that sense, with all different parts being connected in some way, but how exactly is definitely completely up to the personal interpretation of the listener as Mikan definitely never gives you clear guides as to a pattern or recurring theme. This completely freewheeling approach does result in an always suprising collection of tracks however and while the abstract nature and short lengths of the tracks make for a listen that feels pretty odd and perhaps unclear, the completely off the wall and jumping sound of the album is always fun and original, rarely recycling sounds from earlier on and always going in a different direction. An album to replay many times to uncover more sounds from its exciting mixture of constantly changing sounds and textures. Amongst the many short tracks there are a few longer piece however that I’ll discuss a bit now. The first of these is Schon halb verwest which features some sweet Noise manipulations, strange harmonic tones and manipulated guitar as well as some sudden burst of percussive noise in the right channel. It sounds a bit like a degenerated electro-acoustic piece taken from a heavily corrupted file, mad but cool music. Dunkelnder is pretty quirky with its many pitch down / pitch up speed effects, mechanical, whirring sounds and also, typewriter sounds as well as a typewriter bell sound that made me laugh a bit while listening to this piece. This track does have some melodic fragments in the beginning put through Vocoder but most of the track is really based around mechanical sounds, synth and speed manipulated sounds and resonances. Wild piece, but very fun too. Ein Tag is the piece on here that is the most melodic (relatively speaking), with a simple two note pattern droning in the background, that sounds a bit like a mangled electric organ, combined with a tumbling glitched guitar pattern. This gets combined with an ever more crazy growing haze of chaotic noise and screeches until the climax at the end, really wild and intense, nice one.

Täuschung by Davor Mikan is a short but sweet wild ride of an album that is full of glitchy noisy music that is abstract but also subtle in quirky ways, ever changing and evolving and is definitely good to relisten again and again to uncover all the various sounds popping up in this album. A curious unique and personal album and a good recommended listen. Orlando Laman

via Fluid Sonic Fluctuations

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ocupa #3


Ocupa #3 is an event focused on electronic music and the digital arts. On December 15th, a program of talks and performances will take place at gnration, in Braga. Miguel Carvalhais, Rui Penha, and Alberto Simões will discuss Artificial Intelligence and Art, while Pedro Tudela, Roly Porter, and Filipe Lopes will focus on Performance in Electronic Music. Starts at 16h30, free entrance.

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Clube de Inverno


For three days, Crónica be heading gnration’s Clube de Inverno, an informal meeting place to explore and improvise with music, sound, image and video.

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