SARAH WEAVER performed by GERRY HEMINGWAY – Reality Axis

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This writer has listened to and studied sounds and combinations thereof – consciously or less – for 52 of his 55 years. Therefore, a tiny degree of so-called “knowledge” should ideally inform the large part of his methods in this particular field. Then one meets human beings like Sarah Weaver, peruses her curriculum vitae, and realizes that a presumed highway to the realms of acoustic expertise is nothing but a peripheral corridor when compared to what she’s striving for as a composer and researcher. Which is, essentially, attempting to express a far-reaching unity beyond the overambitious superficiality of certain self-fuelled manifestos.

Not content with the “mere” organization of apparently unrealistic long-distance cooperations, Weaver writes music for solo instrumentalists endowed with analogous rational depth and remarkable insightfulness. Gerry Hemingway appears as a logical choice in that sense, at least for those who have been scrutinizing his technical gestures over the decades; an intelligent musician capable of expressing his talent without frills, commonplaces and trickeries. In that regard, the three works of this CD – length ranging from 11’40” to 18’59” – are exemplary. Hemingway refers to them as “sculptures”, for which he had to make decisive choices in terms of orchestration and score interpretation. The multiple rhythmic surfaces, the variety of resonant qualities and – in general – the overall control on each and every occurrence constitute the most striking attributes of an album requiring rigorous concentration only to scratch some of its numerous layers.

There’s no way to find a truthful correspondence between Reality Axis and other releases exclusively founded on percussive elements (well, almost exclusively: the title track also features electronics). Rather than expect archival affinities, try and imagine a case of entirely lucid schizophrenia: several personalities inhabiting the same creative brain, speaking at once yet miraculously finding a common expressive ground to generate a lexicon that – admittedly – is not going to be immediately grasped by the untrained. However, a manifestation of evolution must never intimidate: in this specific microcosm, a bright woman designed a set of rules and a bright man made them work in the best possible way. Just live with the results for a while, and learn something new.

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