Smith- stainless steel sheet, pedal steel gtr., flutes, zither, Copper Box, tapes, etc.
The line-up of instruments above gives only the vaguest notion of what this recording sounds like. There are three tracks here, averaging about sixteen minutes each. Suffice it to say they probably sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before, certain like nothing I’ve heard before, not even the other cd’s under Smith’s name. “Descent” is music/sound suggestive of continental drift (it’s that slow). And it’s that… is “grand” the word? It suggests eons. The aura it gives off is like heat shimmering. Its sense of space makes me think of large desert expanses. “Endless Mardi Gras” is hardly festive. The title’s meant ironically, however. It points out the anti-celebratory, anti-development (at least development in the conventional sense) nature of this extremely slow and very dour soundwork. Anything like this risks serious ennui and it overruns its welcome somewhat at just over twenty minutes. But I’d listen to it again for its generous strangeness. The last cut, “False Clarity” fortunately returns to the evocative drift of “Descent”. It recalls the marvelous bowed piano music of Stephen Scott, but the character here is both tougher and more overtly graceful. It allows itself to revel in the luxuriousness of gradual development.