Review

Gerald Van Waes, psychemusic.org, January 1, 2014

The electroacoustic music of David Berezan sounds very physical; at the same time it loses itself a bit into the vagueness of the spatial being of the environmental sounds themselves. It collects, reshapes and organises the recorded sounds in a richer form of variety, then after a while, also such a collection, this starts to become a common familiarity and a plain formal entity of ideas.

My favourite track is Buoy (2011) which is based upon the exploration of the sound environment from sea buoys, which are used to aid sea navigation and for the scientific research of maritime weather, ecology and oceanography, where a whole area of data is collected. Although the amount of sonic material seems to be rather limited in sources, I still get the impression that this foundation shows a much wider range of material shifts as being indicated. It goes smoothly from one world to the next with a few extra associations in its sonic extension. First of all I hear what is the impression of something like splashing of stones in water. Further on are the sounds of stone rubble itself. I hear certain waves of more electronic sounding reactions, and then also, the rambling of harp like aluminium rods or more metallic vibrations, being carried upon the rhythms of waves which shows this whole range of sound worlds, a change from one sort of resonance or area towards the next, changing the sound material in pitch and effect, flowing and transforming itself from one area to the next, onto the sea wave rhythm. But even here, after a while, the attention to it and all these available changes do not find much more else outside these nice contrasts so that after a while the left over attention tends to dissolve and blur each recollection of it, and each trans-position so much into one another, that what at one point this seemed like systematic order and change, thoroughly seems to be determined to become nothing but a chaotic collection of natural varieties.

Thumbs (2011) is based upon the plucked sound recording of a Balinese thumb piano, forming clusters, dripping sounds, and collections of tones, collected just like grains of tones, or like blurry collections of tones and also, a whole sound world of ambient resonances. Faster varieties with an inner rhythm and certain slower inner rhythms are combined, echoing and droning again tend to go drowning in all its varieties.

Badlands (2008) collected sound materials from the prairie landscape of southern Alberta, Canada, like birds, insects, flies, sand, natural contrasts and echoes, breathing rhythms, the idea of “there once lived dinosaurs”, rhythms that are found, and voices.

Galungan (2010) used the recordings collected in and around Ubud in Bali, like the sound of a gamelan bowl. The tones are reconnected in a random fast and slow rhythm, creating its own dust of sounds.

Nijō (2009) is based upon the Nightingale Floors wooden floors in temples in Japan with its chirping and squeaking sound when walked upon, combined with the voices of the surrounding environment too, again finding its random rhythms, and its blurry existence. Birds, human voices and a train whistle can be heard in it too.

I miss a bit the vision of a composer doing something more than collecting random sounds and making a sound pallet from it. Here these sound ballets in the end become something like dusty sound sand, with a vague inner rhythm and the idea of keeping the separate sounds distinctive. This exploited loose connections does not really add something extra to these environments and in fact hardly bring the hidden qualities more to the fore. It more confirms a random vision in the hearing process, as if all is dust and comes to dust. I hope that electroacoustic music gets a few more definitions and visions than that in future, dimensions that are not so easily blown away to dust.

The electroacoustic music of David Berezan sounds very physical.

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