Exposé Online banner

Denis Smalley — Sources / Scènes
(Empreintes DIGITALes IMED 0054, 2000, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-11-24

Sources / Scènes Cover art

Denis Smalley is an electroacoustic composer from New Zealand who has spent a year in Olivier Messiaen’s composition class at the Conservatoire de Paris and is currently the Head of the Music Department at the City University of London. Denis has received a number of international awards for his work over the past 25 years. The music on this CD is a collection of four pieces from his long career. "Base Metals," "Empty Vessels," and "Tides" are the realization of the idea that a principal sound source can be the provider of the central material. In "Base Metals" the source was metallic sound sculptures created by the artist Derek Shiel. The result is an ambient sonic journey through the cosmos. The sound sources for "Empty Vessels" are large garden pots from Crete and an olive jar from Turkey. This piece incorporates many other elements (birds, airplanes thunder, and rain) and is akin to Lustmord’s Where the Black Stars Hang. The sonic images of "Tides" are based on the analogies between water and sound. In the first movement, "Pools and Currents," digital scraping, bubbling, and squelching sounds surge with the ebb and flow of the tides. The second movement, "Sea Flight," uses crashing waves of sound. The final piece, "Pentes," brings into play loud bursts of sound, chugging rhythms, slow crescendos of chords, and small alien critters to achieve the sonic equivalent of slopes and inclines. All in all, an interesting release that is fairly accessible for this genre.


Filed under: New releases, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Denis Smalley

Latest news

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Porcupine Tree - Waiting – This is Porcupine Tree's latest three-song CD EP, appropriately titled I suppose, while we are waiting for the release of their next full length CD Signify this coming fall. The music here is a...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues