Saturday, November 30, 2019

Cristián Alvear / Klaus Filip - 6 Chords (Ftarri, 2019) ****

By Eyal Hareuveni

Chilean contemporary-experimental guitarist Cristián Alvear and Austrian electronics musician and developer of the ppooll software focus on quiet and calm music, with as little as possible instrumental noises and with no spectacular extended techniques. Alvear - who recorded in recent years compositions of avant-garde composers as Antoine Beuger, Michael Pissaro and Jürg Frey - and Filip - known from his work with cellist-sound artist Noid (aka Arnold Habrel), vocalist Agnes Hvizdalek and trombonist Radu Malfatti - performed one time together in April 2018 at the Viennese gallery Zentrale. The Bandcamp page of the Japanese label Ftarri, that focuses on duos recordings, does not provide any details about 6 Chords recording date or location, but do tells that Alvear played on this recording the acoustic guitar and Filip played sine-waves.

6 Chords is one, extended 41-minutes piece, divided into six parts. Alvear plays here clean, repetitive and short phrases while Filip adds his fragmented, transparent sine tones to the guitar lines. At first, the sine waves resonate gently the guitar phrases, adding a pulsating but quite enigmatic and elusive layer that enhances the sonic envelope of the simple guitar sounds. But as this listening experience develops and sharpens, the presence of the transparent and delicate, vibrating sine waves becomes more substantial and varied and not only in its time and space dimensions. The perception of the sonic alchemy of the hypnotic guitar lines and almost silent electronics sounds continue to echo and grow in the listener’s imagination.

With each listening this mysterious effects becomes stronger and more elaborate. With no artificial psychoactive substances you can feel these tangible-elastic sounds as multi-dimensional living entities. These meditative sounds invite the listener to dive deeper and deeper into its nuanced, liquid-like universes and explore-experience ourselves within - or embraced by - these sounds. 6 Chords is an imaginative and modest masterpiece.

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