ANTHONY PATERAS / ERKKI VELTHEIM – The Slow Creep Of Convenience


With trademark and unquestionably culpable delay we’re reporting on an excellent album, released in 2017 by a label that you should check out immediately (pun intended). Pianist, composer and program supervisor Pateras is here involved with fellow Australian Veltheim, another notable talent of the contemporary landscape. This 50-minute piece, scored for pipe organ and violin, is their second collaboration after 2015’s Entertainment = Control on this very imprint.

The press release describes the work as a generator of “meditative ecstasy beyond musical classification”. Are you fantasizing about a droning flow rich in overtones? Close enough, if one just stops at a superficial analysis based on cursory listening. First and foremost the components of this music move distinctly, perceptibly, to the point of letting us envision how the contrapuntal lines might be performed, in assorted settings, by a chamber ensemble. Thus, not only the upper partials meet and proliferate, Niblock-style; they also draw wide geometries of slowness, in the meantime engendering appealing clusters fading in and out. The whole translates into a sequence of scenarios rather than a lone picture of standstill. There is not abundance of sun, but the lights that manage to pierce the greyness are often blinding.

Pateras and Veltheim play with sensible regard to the amalgamation of frequencies, occasionally pushing the instruments to a degree of coalescence that is almost painful in its conceptual perfection. As the juxtapositions vary, the resulting sounds indicate ways for a viable egalitarianism between low and high, huge and microscopic, loud and feeble. The mind intuitively recognizes the same possibilities as applicable to human relationships, if people learned to better decode what is relayed by individuals they are really willing to communicate with.

Utopias, of course. Still, the combined harmonic constitutions of an organ and a violin can do miracles for the improvement of understanding. The Slow Creep Of Convenience represents a priceless tutorial in that sense.

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