How wonderful when musicians we respect buttress their opuses with descriptions that fit perfectly in the quotidian’s ordinary actuality. Beyond its fascinating denomination, this album – scored for clarinet, electronics and percussion – also includes three pieces named as follows: “The Violence Of Stupidity”, “Sphere Of Dissonance”, “The Body Becomes Fetid”. In my mind, this is a logical chain of clear indications; I suppose that Jeremiah Cymerman was observing a similar conceptual flow while devising the strategies for his last solo presentation.
One just needs to look at the “acknowledgements” section to realize how open to the external Cymerman’s inspiration is. His music certainly reflects a will to incorporate disparate implications, if only to remould them into a self-sufficient descriptive model. A badass clarinettist active in numerous contexts, he nevertheless prefers to embed virtuosity inside an equally competent needlework of inhospitable habitats and discernible metamorphoses of the instrument’s marrow.
Case in point, the title track. In spite of a 22-minute span, there’s really no way to get lost in a surplus of thoughts; the clarinet remains central, its inner gradations and merely intuitable constituents emphasized by an intelligent equalization as they are stretched, reconfigured and transposed across the stereo field. The processing adds layers of minimal interference, expanded frequencies, sine waves, environmental resonances mutating into mammoth subsonics cocooning the cranium.
The instigator is always there to remind us of linearity, employing snippets of melody in contrast to the harsher components to achieve a balance between a relative tranquillity and a swelling grief. Still, should someone wish to taste some acousmatically enhanced reed pyrotechnics, then direct yourselves to “With Ten Thousands Shields And Spears” and do not come back crying.
As everything else we have received from Cymerman to date, Decay Of The Angel is replete with compositional substance and multidimensional visions. However, its complexities never threaten a listener’s chance of relishing the transparency of its aesthetic laws; whenever that happens, we’re sure of being listening to the fruits of a clever brain’s conceptions. A veritable relief in these times of cryptic shallowness and vaporizing ratiocinations.