Gary DiBenedetto — Twin Towers
(Electroshock Records ELCD 051, 2010, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2011-06-01
Gary DiBenedetto is an electro-acoustic composer from New York and Twin Towers is his effort to present a compilation of radical and controversial sonic collages designed to imply political and social messages. Fortunately he made the effort to explain his liberal political messages in the CD booklet because they are certainly obscure in these nine academic, sterile, and amorphous compositions. The opening track, “Knock and the Door Shall Be Opened,” does not have a message and calls to mind Pierre Henri’s “Variations on a Door and a Sigh.” The second piece, “Toy Store,” is composed of recycled sound files and it is very difficult to listen to. It reminds me of over winding a toy and waiting for the internal tension to rip it apart. The next three tracks constitute a three-movement composition about Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Catholic Church, peasants, and the Sandinista. But what you really hear are dissonant sounds, percussion, electronics, and clanging metal that is without form or reason. There are two tracks composed of sound bites so heavily processed that they are unrecognizable with an occasional word surfacing for a moment. Even the title track that closes the CD does not convey much of a message. It is obviously about 9/11, but Meena Alexander’s reading of her poetry is mixed so low it is a struggle to understand and therefore the sounds that follow seem meaningless. This is difficult music to get into, and outside of the university setting these compositions have an extremely limited appeal.
SUBMITTED FOR ISSUE 39, PUBLISHED???
Related artist(s): Gary DiBenedetto
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more