| Yuval Ron:In Between the Heartbeat|
(Simulacra Records - 1998)
The first non-Tear Ceremony release from the Simulacra label, In Between the Heartbeat is a nicely-ranging collection of sound and music sculptures by composer Yuval Ron and friends. The entire package leans into "arty" territory, without being overly pretentious or inaccessible to plain ol' listeners like us.
Known for his film, theatre and dance compositions, Ron and a host of classical and experimental musicians explore the inhumanity of the information age, leaving us with some interesting, atmospheric arrangements.
An unusual pairing of saxophone and didgeridoo provides the building materials for Dij wall (6:59); the air fills with oscillating growls and smooth sax meanderings, embellished with tinkling ceramics. A rythmic, machine-like accompaniment leads to the semi-solemn, though quite lovely Cantus non verbus, which is based on a Gregorian chant, and performed by a string quartet. Similar, though less structured musically, Zerox meditation is another blend of music and machine; gentle electronic strings rise and fall behind mechanical humming and clunking in, with a bit of entropy toward the track's end.
A sudden, surprising slash of strings opens Dark spirited forest angel. Sparse interjections of violins, cello and viola are menacing, and cricket-y background sounds definitely add that woodland feel, so the title certainly seems apt. Heart circles swelters quietly... a string-like synth chord rises from behind, and the hazy shimmer of a distorted flute dances in front, though never fully becoming "visible". Muted clanks and other sounds add further texture. Instrumentally, the pulsating drone which evolves during Propeller etude features the sounds of "rubber roar" and the "plastic rainmaker". Reminiscent, but not exactly a replication of a stormy nocturnal airplane flight, the track should appeal to fans of drone and pulse.
From within a murky haze, strange fragments of sound randomly emerge... in Night time, one hears fluttering electronic soundshifts, warbling woodwinds, clattering windchimes, all of which combine to a spookily, disorienting effect. The strings of the New Hampshire Philharmony make an appearance in Seed dream (5:22), playing second fiddle to a rapid clatter and an echoey metallic clank. Mostly subdued, the track is set upon early on by a relatively fierce outburst, then continues with the peaceful coexistence of its elements.
|Quite a nice assortment, In Between the Heartbeat is an artful exercise in sound construction using both conventional and unusual sources. As such, it earns one appreciative thumb up.|