Review

François Couture, AllMusic, January 1, 2000

Tao is a huge musique concrète cycle. There are five pieces (composed 1983-1991), one for each element of the Tao: water, fire, wood, metal and earth. Eau (Water) sounds almost untreated: splashes, drops, streams, etc. coming together in a piece the listener can visualize being interpreted live. But this “natural” approach is more and more deconstructed as one advances in the cycle. Feu (Fire) weaves sounds of burning wood with firecracker pops. Bois (Wood), one of the most interesting pieces, uses the sound of a squeaking old wooden door — a reference to Pierre Henry’s Variations pour une porte et un soupir — as a bridge between movements. Terre (Earth) is the most substantial piece and is completely freed from the element it represents. Abstract, it still conveys a feeling of Zen transcendentalism. Francis Dhomont wrote: “Tao is the discourse of active contemplation.” True, but because of that, it suffers from monotone moments (especially in Eau and Feu), mostly because of the sound source limitations imposed by the subject. Still, with Tao, Annette Vande Gorne delivered an impressive work.

Tao
… with Tao, Annette Vande Gorne delivered an impressive work.

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