Elliott Sharp’s career symbolizes the triumph of synthetic acumen over long-winded commonplace. Just think of the inherent contradictions of certain risible “scientific” theories. Countless philostophers are heard blathering about the presumed core of reality via complex maths and quantum physics “improved” by abstruse hypotheses of vaguely divine descent. However, these unfathomable visions vanish in presence of harmonic configurations overcoming the level of acceptability of a superficial brain. Filling the mouth with adjectives and surnames such as “fractal” and “Fibonacci” is OK, whereas listening to the marvelously dissonant perfection of music grounded on those very principles will instantly cause an abrupt U-turn towards the “ecstasies” conveyed by, say, Mozart’s conspicuous melliflousness. The sea must necessarily be peaceful and blue, the cadenzas always lead to the affirmation of a traditional tonal centre.
So, no chance of employing Sharp’s sonorities for mobile ringtones. Irony aside, Tranzience comprises four scores attesting the composer’s flexible rigorousness. At the same time, they keep the listener acquainted with his trademark inclination to operate at the margin of diverse jargons, ultimately merging the latter in successful fashion. Each piece seems to point to an extremity of instrumental earnestness, a place where fake spirituality-related malpractices are not allowed. In the episode that gives the album its name, JACK Quartet’s unquiet strings accumulate significance in direct proportion with the gimmick-free rationalism defining its architecture; still, those figurations blossom endlessly to depict a different kind of sensual microcosm. “Approaching The Arches Of Corti” utilizes New Thread’s soprano saxophones to generate a reiterative impetuousness broken by liberating cries and short moments of stasis, clustery or less. “Homage Leroy Jenkins” highlights the strong bonds between apparently distant genres: it’s perhaps the finest representation of acoustic integrity of the whole record, three individual voices (Joshua Rubin, Rachel Golub and Jenny Lin) jointly discovering truthful paths across an utterly intelligible contrapuntal solidarity. In “Venus & Jupiter” we find Sharp’s only manual contribution: his guitar adds further magnetism to a somewhat turbulent passionateness, magnificently translated by Either/Or’s collective perception.