ANNA ZARADNY – Mauve Cycles

Musica Genera

In his comments on Mauve Cycles – first CD of Polish Anna Zaradny – Daniel Brozek points out that “the involvement of women in contemporary experimental music still seems to be perceived as unusual”. Of course, talented girls such as Olivia Block, Natasha Barrett or Helena Gough will beg to differ in their respective ambits; Brozek himself quotes Delia Derbyshire, Christina Kubisch and Kaffe Matthews as somewhat contrary examples to the original thesis. There is life on the planet of intelligent female composers after all.

Zaradny has already collaborated with diverse kinds of artists, from improvisers Tony Buck, Burkhard Stangl and Cor Fuhler to celestially inhuman destroyers like Zbigniew Karkowski. The essential character of this album is one of stability, despite the continuous modification of the sonic matter: incessant pulsation, inconstant distortions and anaesthetizing sequences – always informed by a static type of bubbling-and-throbbing – constitute the large part of “Mauve 1”, a piece that flows away before we realize about its true consistency, ending with extremely beautiful superimposed layers of angelic tones (which, I’m pretty sure, are NOT voices) eliciting an aura of harmonic and timbral uncertainty that leaves the listener baffled, to say the least.

“Mauve 2” approaches territories where shortwaves (not sure, indeed) and ultrasonic ghosts run free. Yet it takes a compositional frame of mind to channel those emissions so satisfactorily, thus obtaining a heavily droning, dynamically shifting mix, pitches more or less unaltered while the ebb and flow of the electronic mass behaves in agreement with our physical needs, my slow breathing causing a higher percentage of oxygen to enter the lungs. At circa 5’45”, the scenario changes dramatically, a scarcely mobile moan acting as a background for acute frequencies inching in, both statically and rhythmically. It is probably the instant in which Zaradny achieves the climax of her intuition, and one can’t help but remain transfixed in front of a message that digs deep in spite of a theoretical plainness. Quite simply, this is a moment of transcendence that only those who perceive a vibration in a certain way are able to attain. This woman surely belongs to the category.

A deceptively straightforward release worthy of cyclical revisiting, definitely deeper than the initial appearance. Add another name to the inhabitants of the above mentioned sphere.

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