John Duncan

The Scattering

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This collaboration with Peter Fleur is to be put alongside John Duncan's album with Francisco López, NAV. It presents three pieces, one an actual collaboration, the other two being solo tracks. Duncan and Fleur worked on the title piece, over 30 minutes in duration, together apart, so to speak (each in his own house, in The Netherlands and Italy, respectively). Sourcing sounds from data files and short waves, they have created a richly but not densely-layered piece that keeps on changing every five minutes or so. It doesn't evolve as such, but rather progresses in jumps, alternating low-frequency segments with high frequency segments, near-silent passages with much busier ones. It makes the piece more dynamic than Phantom Broadcast, Duncan's other short wave-related work released around the same time. "Aggregate" is Fleur's solo piece; he adopts a completely different form, cross-fading rising and falling sound textures, some of them very gritty, others more shimmering -- that is, until the last three minutes where near-ultrasounds replace these textures, announcing an ear-piercing finale. One might think of Koji Asano's computer pieces (The Last Shade of Evening Falls, Autumn Meadow, etc.). "Threshold" is Duncan's solo piece. It is a more stable affair. As in the aforementioned album, the composer explores micro-changes in a seemingly unchanging macrostructure (except for two clear-cut textural shifts). Short wave signals (in between stations) are massed to form a complex tapestry of sounds; volume and certain filters slowly change with time, often happening under the listener's radar. It is an interesting piece but adds little to what Phantom Broadcast had already stated. On the other hand, the title piece is a very welcome addition to Duncan's growing body of work.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 31:51
3 23:22
blue highlight denotes track pick