mercredi 23 septembre 2009

Elliott Sharp orchestra Carbon : "Radiolaria"


This is E#'s fourth self-produced Orchestra Carbon release and it features an all-star downtown cast with Ned Rothenberg, Andy Laster, Evan Spritzer & Tim Smith on reeds; Steve Swell & Julie Kalu on trombones; Brian McWhorter & Eric Shanfield on trumpets; Zeena Parkins, David Weinstein & Luke Dubois on samplers, Jim Pugliese on percussion and Elliott Sharp on soprano sax, computer, composition and direction. It was recorded live at Tonic in March of 2001 by yours truly, DMG founder (and NY Downtown scene archivist) Bruce Gallanter! 'Radiolaria' begins with Elliott's snaking charming soprano sax which introduces that sly undercurrent of things to come. Elliott's highly idiosyncratic music has unique rhythmic sense, as well as some bizarre, alien harmonies which seem to push the saxes and horns in waves which both collide and connect as they slide through some strange exotic scale. Each part of this seven section work, seems to deal with different textures and combinations of difficult harmonic layers. I dig how on the third section, what sounds like the random rhythmic placement buzzing fragments, begins to evolve into a recognized pattern before it ends. There segments which I could quite get the first few times I heard this, but which are finally beginning to make more sense as I dig deeper into the undercurrent of connection. The fourth part features those morse code-like staccato horn parts that I find fascinating in the works of Xenakis or Penderecki. Part five reminds me of the Mothers when they start stretching those notes in a twisted, yet humorous way. The final section is the most startling, the shimmering, somewhat scary mass of shifting horns and saxes radiates a breath-taking wall of dense textures which create a challenging environment of refracted images like a twisted mirror or lens. If I played it too loud, my next door neighbors might freak-out, but at a more tolerable volume, it becomes a kaleidoscope or swirling colors. A must for the scientists and true explorers among us.

Bruce Lee Gallanter (Downtown Music Gallery)