Eric La Casa

The Stones of the Threshold

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Eric La Casa shows himself to be one of the premier soundscape artists with this release, as he mixes raw soundscapes with various degrees of processing to create powerful sonic presentations. The opening track is composed entirely from field recordings of water, mineral matters, and fire in various locations around France. The power of the piece comes from the roaring storms, but the work's transitions, either via sudden opening out from the firestorm to rushing water, or the gradual metamorphosis of running water to rain, gives the piece an emotional charge rarely present in soundscape recordings. "Chrysalithe" has a much richer assortment of sound sources, including percussion, prepared piano, and voices in addition to wood, vegetable, and mineral field recordings. One of La Casa's most processed pieces, it includes choral drones, bells, and gongs in a triptych around themes of breathing, writing, and large tectonic motions of the Earth. "Stones of the Threshold" is the first three parts of a long suite (continued with parts four through seven on La Casa's next release) investigating the complexities of soundscape art as a threshold between internal and external realities, as well as between real and unreal soundscapes. Composed exclusively from field recordings, the three parts presented here cover a full dynamic range, from quiet winds to thunderstorms. The third part, which closes the album, is a subtle and beautiful meditation on a passing moment, with singing birds, wind blowing through grass, and even traffic that passes across the listener's perspective. Finding a balance in soundscapes between simple reproduction and transformation into a work of art can be a tricky proposition, and La Casa joins other contemporary soundscape artists Francisco López and Douglas Quin in this very successful release.

Track Listing

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