Cody Oliver

Yamadori

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

While it is not altogether clear what process went into the creation of this epic composition, parts of it involved pointing recording microphones at phenomenon that most musicians don't bother with. As it becomes more musical, it becomes less interesting. "Yamadori" is identified as a single piece lasting a bit less then 50 minutes, but there are four tracks that are individually accessible on the disc itself. The Calgary-based musician, who has previously been identified with free improvisation, has created a suite that is orchestral in its range, while atmospherically evoking the poking about of somebody, perhaps a lunatic, in a cellar where weird things like an old pipe organ are kept and the water pipes sometimes break. Now that the organ has been brought up, perhaps it might be suggested that Cody Oliver take it back down to the cellar. The fourth section, or cue, in which huge chordal clusters rise and swell is, frankly, tedious, a sort of bad version of Olivier Messiaen. It is with heavy heart that this comment is made because of course the sound of a brick, log, or chubby cat plopped on top of a heavily amplified organ is a needed thing in this universe, but not if someone as talented as Oliver is going to waste his time on it. Earlier parts of the piece, on the other hand, rate highly as a disruptive force in life -- a merit that most recordings don't get anywhere near, and most recording artists don't even recognize as a possibility. By this standard, a recording's quality is established by how many times somebody in the house where it is being played comes running, freaking out because they think something is wrong. This can be compared to the system of "stars" or similar symbols used by many publications that review music, but it is actually more complex. While the latter symbols are presumed to be of equal merit, as in two stars is twice as good as one star, whatever symbol is given out for disturbance would also have to be based on just who it is that is being disturbed. Thus, the opening section in which it sounds like the CD player is breaking gets some credit, but not tons, for making a listener get off his posterior to see if everything is working properly. It might be worth a bit more in the case of a listener whose playback system isn't a pile of crap anyway. A bit later in the piece, Oliver gets a lot more credit for recording what sounds like someone washing out the inside of a large plastic container with a hose. This great sound actually made someone who never listens to this kind of music walk down three flights of stairs just to make sure the toilet wasn't overflowing. Surely, Oliver can be proud of this. He should also be proud of having created a work that retains great interest on repeated listens, despite its flaws.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 46:45
blue highlight denotes track pick