DAVID BUDDIN – Canticles


A dumbfounding regalia of unkeyed geometries and rhythmic designs fighting the tendency of the corporeal systems to a squarish regularity can be obtained by the simple utilization of a series of six notes, their “canonical transformations”, and a meticulously programmed synthesizer. Ask Mr. David Earl Buddin, a composer from South Carolina who has studied with Charles Wuorinen and Salvatore Macchia. This music – which in its orchestral form would ideally feature a soprano, and I’d really want to listen to that version – contains germs of dissolution of tonality that happen to sound great, in our gross unknowingness of the reason behind this attainment. Hesitant to accept anything straying from the paths of “consonance”, “silence” and “reminiscence”, humans have usually a very hard time in decoding aggregate reconstitutions of minimal sequences in uncompromising scores. In this case, the synthetic make-up might somehow belittle – but just apparently – the opus’ actual thickness, for certain timbres seem to attribute a slight twist of playful incongruousness to some of these challenging combinations (I, for one, am not averse to this: ever heard the early Synclavier pieces by Frank Zappa? To this day they come out as intelligently funny). Whatever the personal response, this CD deserves repeated attentive spins only to merely scratch the surface of a complex microcosm, a place where steady electronic palpitation, membrane-crippling clusters and sudden resuming of eruptive activities after long seconds of total hush can try and live together in a Londonderry-like state of continual tension.

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