John Bischoff

Aperture

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Aperture is a striking collection of grainy, carefully arranged pieces of computer music of the Max/MSP variety. Each one of these seven compositions has its unique sound palette and character, making for a dynamic, attention-grabbing listening experience. They have the precision of academic electro-acoustic works, despite a "live" component -- the liner notes specify that the composer "guided and altered" the performance of the pieces "using a small set of manual controls." Philip Perkins engineered the "ambient re-recording" of these performed pieces. The opener, "Piano 7hz," is strongly reminiscent of Taylor Deupree and Kenneth Kirschner's project post_piano. A single piano chord serves as the source for endless variations in its digital treatment, each reiteration of the source giving birth to new ghost images and transformations. The title of "Graviton" is more self-explanatory than one could expect at first: the sounds literally gravitate toward a tonal center, gradually sliding down the scales, creating rubberish, elastic soundscapes. "Immaterial States" also features sounds and textures set into curvy motions. This one is more abstract and closer to the formalist works of Francis Dhomont (his Cycle de l'Errance, in particular). Those three pieces are the highlights of the album, but there are no weak tracks among the four that remain. "Sealed Cantus," a collaboration with Kenneth Atchley, is the harshest-sounding one. It features sounds from Atchley's Fountains series (sound sculptures consisting of homemade fountains and contact microphones, see Atchley's own 23Five CD, Fountains). Aperture makes a very strong proposition.

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