Paul Dolden

Seuil de Silences

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Released as part of a reissue program for which Paul Dolden "reprocessed, remixed and remastered" his works from the '80s and '90s, Seuil de Silences is actually an augmented reissue of his 1990 CD The Threshold of Deafening Silence. Dolden's music is all about density and this density is obtained at a cost: dozens of hours (80 of them for "Below the Walls of Jericho") are used in a 15-minute piece, split into a hundred layers of processed tapes. The analog technology of the '80s meant that a price in sound quality had to be paid for such large-scale sound manipulations. So Dolden revisited his old pieces, cleaning up and remixing to bring out details that had been buried in the past. The result is staggering, giving his music a power matched only by John Oswald's mammoth works. Seuil de Silences reprises the three pieces on the original album: "Below the Walls of Jericho" (if sound can tear walls down, this piece will do it: listen to it at high volume and you'll think that the speakers are advancing on you), "Caught in an Octagon of Unaccustomed Light," and "In the Natural Doorway I Crouch." But the album also introduces two more pieces that are part of the "Resonance" series, pieces for soloist and tape. The first two "Resonance" pieces appeared on 1994's L'Ivresse de la Vitesse. These two were composed after the release of that album (1996) and have gone through the same refurbishing process. Violinist Julie-Anne Derome is at the center of "Gravity's Stillness," while "The Vertigo of Ritualized Frenzy" features pianist Leslie Wyber and clarinetist Fran├žois Houle. But Dolden's music has the biggest impact when it consists of tape alone -- although in this case "alone" designates a multitude.

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