STEVE RODEN – Proximities

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Armed with a Paia Oz (an out-of-production portable mini-organ) with which he recorded the basic superimpositions of pitches, and capturing environmental hues inside a former army barrack now containing 50 steel statues made by sculptor Donald Judd, Steve Roden generated Proximities during an artist’s residency in Marfa, Texas in 2010. As always, Roden’s music transmits a sense of inner quietness with its utter naturalness and delicate traits. The plainness of the structure, basically a constant ebbing and flowing of shifting organ layers, reminds of Eno with an added dimension of innocence. Sometimes the frail tones seem to hide amidst the rest of the soundscape, whose components are not detailed but appear as distant urban noises surrounded by a continuous flux of “something”, a watery presence that renders the whole experience as a walk across different stages of human evolution, fused in a single room. Towards the end of the piece one can distinguish the pops of the steel expanding for the heat (as explained by the artist, otherwise I would not have guessed them), preceding a gradual fade to silence. A beautiful conclusion for a record that inspires through its sheer existence, in itself a significant gesture by a still not-enough-sung creative being.

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