PIERRE GERARD / SHINKEI – Static Forms
33 minutes subdivided in two individual pieces. Gerard’s is the longest one, inspired by John Cage (repeatedly quoted in the press release; let’s not forget that those sentences opened the road to all kinds of artistic nonentity, thus I tend to read them with a mixture of perplexity or, if you prefer, unconvinced respect). Unspecified instrumental and environmental sources – some of them identifiable, others not – give life to brief flashes of incidental activity in between silence. These sounds are “just there”, appearing and dying instantly, without pretending of being remembered – and, in fact, they won’t. A well-mannered statement, but Bernhard Günter it ain’t. Shinkei (David Sani) tends to let the frequencies work a little more, immediately starting with a Francisco López-like subterranean rumble which, right after, leaves room for the kind of micro-activity that is audible only in a completely silent setting, inserting rare notes of a slightly detuned piano for good measure. The blatant noise of rolling glass bottles – or are they? – trashes any good intention, ruining the suspension that the beautiful beginning had created; penetrating electronics manage to save the track from an unexpected disaster. An impressionistic piece, so to speak, that results less disjointed to these ears. However, this ground has become sterile by now, and not from yesterday. To quote Cage again, “we need not fear the silences, we may love them”.
SHINKEI / MISE_EN_SCENE – Leftover_1
This is a 3-inch CD lasting circa 21 minutes, fruit of Sani’s collaboration with Tel Aviv’s Shay Nassi. As the title reveals, these are particles and residues from a different recording – Scytale, on the Japanese label mAtter – which they decided to expand a little to generate a new piece (in turn constituting the start of a series). The general sense of unquiet stillness obviously remains, although – differently from the above reviewed Static Forms – the sounds tend to occupy corners and refract more, and actual moments of silence are practically absent. There’s a distinct incidence of barely catchable aural details – from slight-yet-piercing hissing to electronically generated bubbling – and maybe a degree of processed field recordings. Yet everything stays in the domain of normality, apart from a dominant subsonic hum that makes the room’s loose parts rattle towards the end, also indicating the track’s highest point.