Michael Fahres — The Tubes
(Cold Blue Music CB0024, 2007, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-01-01This one falls into the "environmental music" category. German artist Michael Fahres "composed" these pieces using sounds found in nature or from sources not originally intended for this purpose. He goes beyond musique concrète, however, with a strongly ambient quality to these three tracks. The longest, "The Tubes," clocks in at over 30 minutes and includes Jon Hassell on trumpet and Mark Atkins on didgeridoo. The inspiration here is a small island in the Atlantic Ocean called El Hierro that is part of the Canaries. Fahres' field recordings are run through processors and then sequenced together to create "music," though again there's no sense of melodies or arrangements. The sounds ebb and flow to created organic soundscapes, parts of which remind me of the more esoteric moments on Peter Gabriel's Passion album. The third track, "Coimbra 4, Mundi Theatre," is perhaps the most intriguing. Here, Fahres roamed the streets of Coimbra, Portugal, during a citywide festival, recording anything and everything, from brass fanfares to choral masses, schoolchildren, random street sounds, and the conversation of ordinary people in the marketplace. It all goes together to create a sonic photograph of a place in time and it's interesting to think how the same approach can be applied to just about anywhere and in so doing capture the character of the place based purely on recorded sounds, and Fahre's wizardry in stitching it all together. It's not music, but it works on the heart and the head in the same way.
Related artist(s): Michael Fahres
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more