Review

Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, June 9, 2019

David Berezan was last heard by us with his 2013 collection Allusions Sonores, but he’s here today with Cycle nautique (IMED 18154). Unlike our two English composers above, this award-winning fellow is strictly Canadian and has held residencies in Calgary and Montréal. The entire set here has a maritime theme, with titles such as Lightvessels, Moorings and Offshore, and creates impressionistic sketches of the life on the ocean wave. However, not content with the usual viewpoint behind the wheel, Berezan also explores imaginatively what it might be like among the submerged hulls bumping about when they’re tethered along the waterfront, and tries at all times to confuse our sense of “place” by treating the ship’s exteriors like interiors, and vice versa. I’m all for letting the seawater flood inside the vessel whenever possible. One interesting experiment has been to use the clarinet improvisations of Marij von Gorkom in service of his grand plan; given the nature of the genre, her sounds are completely transformed by Berezan’s intensive digital processing, but it’s the unique action of her mouthpiece that lends Offshore its distinctive character. I’m also taken with Buoy, which speculates about the nature of the signals (bells, whistles) used by buoys to aid navigation, producing information which can also help with scientific research to do with the tides and the weather. Field recordings of wind and oceans are thus mingled with bell sounds and impressions of data-streams whizzing through the atmosphere. I like the imaginative nature of this set.

I like the imaginative nature of this set.

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