DUANE PITRE – ED09 For String Ensemble, Live At The Stone

Basses Frequences

“A temporary community of musicians with a central goal stripped of self: to become one”. The quote from the press release might be an impeccable literary condensation to depict the music comprised by this album, the document of a 2009 live performance of Duane Pitre’s 11-piece ensemble entirely focusing on strings (though the score can be executed, depending on the occasion, with woodwinds and bowed electric guitars). Those in the know are already conversant with the composer’s penchant for long-duration pitches placed within conglomerates of slightly swerving and gliding harmonies. This rendition confirms and reinforces the interest that Pitre’s work has been eliciting since his initial releases. The balance of consonant and mildly dissonant traits and the refreshingly non-academic attitude of the performers warrant the absolute naturalness of the succeeding sections’ flow, occasionally recalling Phill Niblock’s massive accumulations yet soon eluding that comparison to turn into variegated stratifications in easily perceptible continuous motion. The lone instance in which a degree of relative stridency is experienced occurs right after the start of the second side: a segment where the shrilling qualities of the superimposed tones quite obviously remind of a somewhat celestial traffic jam (presumably, this is the added part recorded in 2008 at NY’s Roulette mentioned on the artist’s website). Ultimately, the cluster resolve once more to the sort of brain-regenerating fluctuating drones that – changing in intensity and shape from beginning to end – define the complexion of a fascinating composition.

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