Review

Noah Wane, Splendid E-Zine, May 11, 1998

Miniatures concrètes celebrates the advent of musique concrète 50 years ago. It contains 3-minute pieces from 24 different composers. Each composition is constructed from three provided sound sources — yet the results are truly diverse.

Jocelyn Robert’s Prélude à «des dieux en conserves» is fraught with a sort of intrinsic conflict created by the cunning juxtaposition of sounds from the world of human-kind (riots, bombs, etc) and sounds from nature (birds, water, wind, etc). It is a truly stunning example of the way sounds have the power to stir emotion.

Another highlight of the disc is Randall Smith’s Collision. This work has a linear/narrative aspect to it in the sense that the body of the piece is the logical extrapolation of the big sonic gesture that happens at the beginning (like a collision and its aftermath). In terms of nuts and bolts, I find Smith’s skill in the subtle manipulation of his sound sources to be praiseworthy.

Ned Bouhalassa’s Éclipse is wonderfully programmatic as well. His aural painting allows the listener to hear the moon as it moves across the face of the sun. The sonics in this track are outstanding — crisp and clear and capable of cutting to the bone.

empreintes DIGITALes is one of the premier propagators of serious, late 20th-century electronic music and CDs like Miniatures concrètes are the reason why.

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