SEIJIRO MURAYAMA / STÉPHANE RIVES – Axiom For The Duration

Potlatch

This came out in 2011, but I have managed to accurately listen to it only in the last four days or so. A small perpetuity of about 56 minutes, divided on the disc in three temporal slices “for the listener’s convenience”. Let me start the analysis by telling you that a listener who decides to break this awakening experience into fractional scraps will be designed as an incompetent here, especially in view of what Murayama (percussion) and Rives (soprano sax) imply starting from the very title. Axiom For The Duration is in fact a veritable test of perseverance and restraint, as well as a decontaminating act of sorts. As such, it should be undertaken in an unflustered state of mind, without redundant presences interrupting the flux of its power and/or throwing useless casual comments, and – by any means – remaining stuck to a seat in front of the speakers.

Ear-splitting frequencies proliferate throughout, the surrounding space irremediably altered by those stabbing infinitudes; the way in which Murayama and Rives control the process of constant transmutation is positively disconcerting. The former (who bows metals like breathing) provides the coarse grazing textures and the cyclical throbbing; the latter produces “impossible-yet-true” everlasting pitches that, seemingly frozen on a first hearing, instead keep modifying their genetic organization to engender membrane-trespassing resonances. The master’s touch is represented by the fusion of a modus operandi with the other into a single sensational morphon: in those moments, a distinct wholeness going beyond the mere subdivision in “timbre” and “pitch” is exteriorized, forcing us to give attention with the eyes closed. The body starts sucking in the disciplining effect of those deceivingly harsh combinations; the chemistry happening in the spot between the monitors and the self is complex, nonetheless definable with a pair of words: cerebral nirvana.

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