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The Wind At Beni Midar

for six celli and other works


Robert Scott Thompson (composer, computer processed sound),
Craig Hultgren (cello)


No information accompanied this CDR, so I'm not positive if the six cellos were overdubbed or processed...or both. In any case 'The Wind At Beni Midar' is a long piece which apparently took nine years to write. Using extended techniques as well as strait bowing or pizzicato, this music does sort of conjure up wind for me, rising and falling, changing pitch and direction...sudden bursts of percussiveness die suddenly, the silence filling with rich chords or short melodies. It sweeps out toward the edges of tonality, stops, putters, strikes... regroups and tries to sing, it's voice a slippery croak.

By contrast the computer generated pieces were less interesting for me, though I can hear why people use computers to make music. This stuff simply couldn't be played by anything else. There's something about the sound though, that irks me, continually pulls my mind away from listening into a sort of repulsion with the sounds themselves. So synthetic and, well, plastic.

Could this have been a more interesting listen if these two had improvised together? Will we ever know?

                                            jeph jerman



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