The pathos of intemperate resonance that transpires from a ruined piano is nearly visible in the work of Ross Bolleter, who makes of this kind of tool a way of living. He has amassed a number of wrecked pianos over the years, five of them occupying his home’s kitchen for the occasion; this fact and the choice of improvising during the night or at dawn (“at the latest”) give this album its title.
Without recurring to the umpteenth quote of Bolleter’s theory, we’ll only invite the reader to consider this music similar to existential deterioration – not necessarily the progressive tarnishing of metal parts, or strings. The crumbling of a musical machine appears as the pictogram of a microcosm amidst superior forces, like a person gifted with an extraordinary potential that remains unexpressed and ultimately falls to pieces due to a combination of adverse circumstances. Listening to these weird radiations of huddled harmonics and detuned reverberations, and to the tangled rhythms generated by that peculiar hybrid of intoxicated gamelan and urban junk, you can’t help but compare the original scope of that apparatus with what it embodies at present. Nobody in the real world would think of performing with a decayed instrument; no one stops a poor man in the street to ask for the story of his life.
On the contrary, this is exactly what this Australian artist does, eliciting incomparably awkward sounds – at times ironic, elsewhere severely introspective. We sit in front of a manifestation of uncompromising discord, born from a sonic organism that was originally created to be divided in small fractions of acoustic ordinariness. Now everything is fused in an unbreakable aura of dissonance whose morphology is nevertheless totally congenial to these ears. It’s an inspiring experience that leaves us pondering about the pointlessness of perfection while appreciating the influence of mutability on what humans call “music” after having injected a good dose of customary triviality to an otherwise unstructured radiance. Yet the upper partials emitted by Bolleter’s perished boxes need no intervention, shaping the surrounding environment with their past glory transmuted into transcendental tolls and glowingly malformed heterogeneity.