PHILL NIBLOCK – Music For Organ

Matière Mémoire

For someone who has reported on the sheer loudness of his music causing pieces of plaster to fall from a cathedral’s ceiling, ​​having a pipe organ as the source of a composition must appear as the materialization of a dream. Certainly not for delusions of omnipotence – we know the quasi-monastic modesty of Phill Niblock too well – but to once again have the chance of observing the acoustic consequences deriving from perturbations of differently interrelating harmonics.

Obviously, for the cognoscenti there is no danger of being dissatisfied with this album, comprising two rather different scores in terms of overall sonority, duration around 24 and 21 minutes respectively. In “Unmounted/Muted Noun” (for organ and 4 pre-recorded tracks) one envisages a stormy sea under a threateningly grey sky, monumental chords overlapping without ever reaching a state of true stillness. “Nagro (aka – Organ)” (for organ and tape) is in a way more respectful of the traditional Niblockian philosophy, imbued of adjacent tones held for a long time and ceaselessly shifting to reveal the strength of the overtones. Both episodes fill the body and the surrounding space with gratifying pulsations, vehemently requiring a reiteration of the playback to decode the hidden information.

Swedish organist Hampus Lindwall – whose brain brilliantly absorbs suggestions ranging from 20th century academic composers to psychoacoustic experimenters such as John Duncan and Leif Elggren – represents an ideal link between the intention of the composer, who directly supervised the recording, and the realization of his vision. All instrumentalists capable of plunging into Niblock’s work and extracting substance for the necessities of eager listeners are considered by this writer to be worthy mediums. If in need of immediate relief from the frustration of illogicality thrown out by the flag-bearers of confabulation, an extended session with a record like this is mandatory. Data errors deleted, rational linearity restored.

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