Denis Smalley — Sources / Scènes
(Empreintes DIGITALes IMED 0054, 2000, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-11-24
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.
Related artist(s): Denis Smalley
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more