RHODRI DAVIES / LEE PATTERSON / DAVID TOOP – Wunderkammern

Another Timbre

In every unforced sonic setting, a thin line divides incident and plan. In fact, the best improvisers are usually those who let their behaviour presume an envisaged impression, despite the autonomy granted by the lack of a score. But there are exceptions, of course. It happens, for example, when a group of performers – obviously talented and aurally attuned to the inherent laws of acoustic transformation – gathers without even imagining the outcome. They only trust perception, conscious of something that inevitably will happen and, just as inescapably, lead to a revealing experience or – as in the case of this splendid work – to a series of events that justify someone’s transitory belonging within a given space.

Built upon an array of instruments that includes harp, eBow, preparations, electronics, amplified devices, field recordings, laptop, steel guitar, flutes and percussion, Wunderkammern probes the waters of the narrow sea that exists between mere corporeality and superior discernment. A wealth of “ringing-metal-or-electronic?” nuances seriously affects the mind, courtesy of a dedicated arrangement of concretely resounding matters and intuition. Toop’s ability in blending understated scents of ritualism inside the resonant textures generated by Davies’ harp and Patterson’s applications represents an added value to a stirring concoction of suggestions. Feels like being pervaded by the echoes from hundreds of different pasts, morphed into the failure of directing that emotional burst elsewhere. The memory acts as if flooded by previous experiences, from last week or two hundred years ago. A wonderfully daunting commotion, exalted by the balance between the amplification of tiny details and an all-inclusive sense of isolation.

Treating these six tracks as a contingent harmonization of our impermanence would appear offensive. However, do give them a try also according to that method, playing the CD at adequate volume. The malleability and extreme naturalness of each emission, and the way in which the musicians permeate the room of “positive spirits” through a conscientious openness give the indication of a special kind of authenticity. That which explains the following postulation: if “silence” speaks volumes, the sum of vibration and awe equals Silence.

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