On this Cold Blue
disc are three compositions with room for a good bit of improvisation.
Starting off is “Sevan”, a sort of lament for the Armenian lake of that
name, a victim of industrialization. Parik Nazarian sings from inside
one of the abandoned metal pipes that line part of the lake, producing
vocal clouds that suggest a Central Asian Ligeti sound world. This voice
alternates with a scraping, percussive noise which forces the listener
back to earth, then it’s the clouds again, then the scraping, and so on,
making for a somewhat disorienting but pleasing whole. If you take that
scrape down to a smoothly-textured sound, you’ll get the very heavy
breathing of “The Tubes”, built on a tape of volcanic rock tubes that
channel forced ocean water. Fahres recorded them on site on the shores
of an unspoiled island that is part of the Canary Island group. This
tape (or tapes, maybe?), used as a rhythm track, is accompanied by Jon
Hassell and his signature electronically-hushed trumpet and Mark Atkins’
didgeridoo, three sorts of tubes joining together for an exploration of
hollowness, fullness, emptiness and solidness. I say that the tape is
accompanied as if it’s a musician because it holds an equal place with
the two humans here; it’s a kind of musician itself, partly because all
three tube sounds work so well together. It’s scary relaxation music,
full of the contradictions that phrase implies. “Coimbra 4, Mundi
Theatre”, which Fahres assembled out of tapes of a Portuguese music
festival he did not attend, is another strange attractor as it floats in
the mind like a harmonious, misarchived trace of musical memory. It is
musique concrete of a very beguiling sort.
Fahres’ pieces are
haunting and they stay in the mind in a calming and elliptical way.
Post-Classical music at it’s best.
Cold Blue – CB