vidna obmana & willem tanke:
variations for organ, keyboard and processors

vidta-vfkop.jpg (23k) vidna obmana & willem tanke:
variations for organ, keyboard and processors

(Multimood - 1999)

In another successful "recycling" project, vidna obmana reconstructs original compositions which willem tanke previously had rendered on classical European organs. These variations for organ, keyboard and processors respectfully merge two musical worlds from across time, simultaneously exploring mystical/physical revelations by way of thoughtful sonic alterations.

The opening five tracks encompass six canons which form The Tao of Physics; having composed the original pieces as reflections upon Fritjof Capra's East/West metaphysical writing, Willem Tanke performed them on an historic Netherlandic church organ. After careful studying, avid recycler Vidna Obmana proceeded to dismantle and reprocess the oringal acoustic recordings, reassembling them in accordance with the Canon-method, and of course, his own fine-tuned sense of sonic art.

canon I leaps right into a magically swirling cloud of sound. Highs and lows bubble and blur, seeming to rotate on every possible plane, surrounding the listener with mutedly chiming organ tones and evershifting synth haze. Everything fades away until canon II (5:00) begins its pattern of ebb-and-flow-and-drift, repsirating in breath-like sprays of sound.

Densely streaming notes seem to tumble over one another in the misty gusts of canon III (15:35); all quietens to a near-silence from which churning organ notes begin to emit as if from a fountain, growing in power as Gothic power chords are elaborately twisted by adroit finger acrobatics. (I can't shake the image Captain Nemo jamming away aboard the Nautilus...) The shapeless breezes of canon IV spiral in less-overt washes of sound, softer and dreamier. Underscored by a deeper drone, canon V/VI makes an exploratory journey between the various soundworlds involved... traditional organ notes blend with electronically induced shimmers.

The remaining tracks make up a Finale; 13-minute-long choral (midi-étude) ventures through moodier spaces. Originally executed by Tanke on a different organ, an unusual midi-mechanical hybrid, the resulting project dips and swoops into darkly spacious regions, accented with rhythmic notes, gritty thumps and mysterious aural curtains. The piece almost imperceptibly devolves into a flat haze which segues into my friend the indian; slow tonal oscillations creep over a roughly droning atmosphere. Discerning the assorted sound layers makes for an entrancing listening experience.

It wouldn't hurt to have a predilection for classical organ sounds before entering these variations for organ, keyboard and processors, though they're generally wrapped in gossamer veils of typically astounding Obmana-isms. Again proving the power of recycling, vidna obmana & willem tanke's combined efforts yield a definitely-recommened 8.6 result.

Released by Multimood, distributed by Staalplaat.

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This review posted May 29, 2000

AmbiEntrance © 2000-1997 by David J Opdyke (except CD cover art, rights retained by original owners).