Mnortham

:coyot:

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In September 1998, Michael Northam participated in a weekend-long sound installation off the coast of Finland, constructing seven aeolian harps on the roof of an old sod gunpowder bunker named kaponieeri coyet. Each harp was constructed with contact microphones, and the sounds were mixed from a console inside the bunker. Tapes from this installation became the source material for this, Northam's first full-length solo release. Like his collaborations with Francisco López, John Grzinich, and Ora, the three pieces on this disc are long investigations into deep drones produced by field recordings, but the original aeolian harps play a more prominent role in this work than in his collaborations. The drones here are very rich and full, emphasizing the different overtones and partials across the entire pitch spectrum, with activities in different layers subtly affecting each other. The occasional audible wind noises are reflected in the swirling low drones, reflecting the fluxes and turbulences from the island environment. The work also includes a long essay by paleolinguist and sound artist Giancarlo Toniutti, whose meditation on the weather cosmologies provides an interesting counterpoint to the sound work. Toniutti's sound work also deals with the subtle interactions of the work's internal components, and Northam's inclusion of Toniutti's text establishes a clear link between their compositional methods. Nevertheless, :coyot: remains an excellent introduction to Northam's work, a piece that succeeds both as an ambient listening experience, but containing a multitude of details for listeners who want to go deeper.

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