Michael Fahres

Michael Fahres: The Tubes

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Michael Fahres bases each of the three compositions presented here on sounds recorded at a particular site, which he develops into sonic landscapes of geography, or what he describes as "geophony." While each piece is clearly composed and not merely an audio montage, Fahres is content to let the sounds speak largely for themselves and is judicious in his manipulation of the sound samples. The resulting pieces are genuinely evocative of the landscapes from which they were derived, and the descriptions of the sites -- a polluted lake in Armenia (Sevan), the ocean rushing through volcanic canyons and tunnels off the canary Islands (The Tubes), and a festival in a Portuguese village (Coimbra 4, Mundi Theatre) -- are just specific enough to orient the listener to the composer's intent. Two pieces also employ the sounds of musicians -- a singer in Sevan and a trumpet and didgeridoo in The Tubes. The effect is similar to what Ingraham Marshall accomplishes in his Fog Tropes. Like Marshall, Fahres is skillful in creating drama and blending the recorded materials into intriguing, musically satisfying soundscapes. The Tubes, which lasts over 30 minutes, is an especially impressive achievement. Fahres' work should be of strong interest to fans of new music and of musique concrète.

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