Caroline Park – all sounds, composition
Locating composers of computer-generated materials who manage to remain focused and unpretentious is always a positive stimulus. Park rates among the best recent examples of this type of good luck, and I have been playing Less Than Human – an essential, brilliantly concise gem – time and again over the last few weeks. In each session the music suggested new psychological consequences via a relatively limited palette (Park mostly works with self-designed Max/MSP on her laptop), establishing a definite link between individual receptiveness and environmental correspondence. This renders the album an illustration of considerateness in a sphere frequently attended by grant-seeking fake shamans and similar subgenres of pseudo-creative character.
The structures might be minimal, but the resultant sonorities are positively efficacious. “Being States”, shaped by blurs of glimmering melodic crystals, is just a taster. “Plantlife” mutates from a crescendo of static sources to a translucent representation of ecstatic absorption, all of the above in a finger snap. “A Moth Is Born” introduces a galaxy of stunning glissando figurations framed by short semiliquid snippets. In its somewhat disconnected mesmerism, “Fractured Barnacles” calls to mind certain therapeutic aspects of Carl Stone’s work, whereas the final “Gldufglsd” is a wonderful low-voiced drone immersed in heaven-knows-what sort of enhancing process. Contrarily to 2012’s Oto, Park urges us to repudiate the use of headphones (“sound needs space”, as she rightly points out). The disobedient reviewer tried the double approach, the outcome staying – in both circumstances – at levels of excellence. As well as these creations, it is Park herself who “needs space”. In your record archive.