Kaffe Matthews

Cd Cecile

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Matthews first attracted attention by "converting the violin into something completely different," using customized sampling software to process wood-and-wire sounds within real-time settings. CD C+CILE, Matthews' third alphabetically titled effort, finds the classically trained performer in Chicago, Oslo, and London, with digital paraphernalia in tow. In these performances, Matthews plays her violin less, concentrating instead on sublimating dirt-caked electro-acoustic sound from sampled crowd noise, environmental acoustics, and the occasional keening string swath.

C+CILE's three long pieces are indexed like classical compositions, making for easier access to favorite moments of epiphany; one such instance comes during the live-in-London "Contact C," as Matthews' coarse particle flow suddenly resolves into sublime saw-blade swirls of sound, and a spurt of skittering violin. In "My Love Gave Me a Blue Plastic Watch" and "Skagerrak," Matthews refracts the particulars of a performance's place and time--Chicago, 1988 and Oslo, 1999, respectively--through her sampler. Sounds are caught within whirls of drone, dust, and irregularly textured loops, like insects trapped in amber. Such sections as "The Surface is Ice I Believe," "Touch Down," and "At Night" capture their settings' sonic particularities with striking, near-photographic precision.

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