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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fabula (Creative Sources, 2012) ****

Reviewed by Joe

I thought I'd wade into some of the 'noise' CDs waiting to be reviewed in our files. In fact I notice more and more bands around that are working in a completely different area from what we would probably call 'music', a more 'noise' oriented area, built up of work with electronics, live and prepared instruments. With these records one has to find another level to listen on, a little like acousmatic and electro-acoustic music. Pierre Schaeffer a man who is more or less responsible for 'musique concrete' and 'acousmatic music' talked about sounds in a new vocabulary, which I believe is called 'solfege du l'objet sonore'. Here he developed a whole new language to describe the construction of sound(s) to make new sounds unheard before. Anyhow I digress, let's move on to Fabula.

And so we have it, Fabula, made up of four musicians : Axel Dörner - trumpet, Ernesto Rodrigues - viola, Abdul Moimême - prepared electric guitar, Ricardo Guerreiro - computer. But how to describe the music (or maybe the sound) they make? Their music is built of fine layers of sound that come together to form a sort of pleasant 'interference' or wall of sounds that organically change throughout the piece. In fact I was immediately taken by the first few minutes as made me think of the noise an alien may make to communicate with, maybe fans of sci-fi will bare that out? In a way that's the beauty of this piece which spans 46 minutes. We hear many colours and combinations, most of which combine well, keeping the listener fixed to the speakers. The trumpet of 'Dörner' rarely uses traditional notes, sound is of utmost importance, texture seems to be the goal. 'Rodrigues' uses his viola in a more traditional way, franticly bowing his instrument or caressing it in a tentative manner hoping to find new vibrations which produce harmonics. Rodrigues and Dörner also develop moments of extremes of pitch which blend into the whistle and hiss of the group's sound. 'Moimême's' guitar is hit, scraped, fed back and changed in various ways, and even though his natural sound can be heard it is only maybe the tightening of a string, or a hammer-on, all very atmospheric. 'Guerreiro' is probably the only one who sounds like himself (a computer), and of course able to finitely change sound and re-process all that happens around him into a new vocabulary.

The music, which is a concert performance, swells around you creating a sort of semi-industrial sound-scape, sometimes mysterious and at times dark and cold. Yet the great thing is it does progress (develop), if not via a tonal system then by an inner logic that the performers felt at that moment. I guess performances of groups such as 'Beast', or the 'Evan Parker Electro Acoustic Ensemble' also work in this very exciting area which to my mind could be thought of as visual sound.

If you enjoy music that has the ability to make you hear mirages (!?), then you'll enjoy listening to this very image oriented sound piece. If you've been working in heavy industry you'll probably recognise some of these sounds. Just remember, 'Please do not adjust your hi-fi, there is no problem with your system!'

© stef