Alison Melville, The WholeNote, no. 9:4, December 1, 2003

I first discovered this label through Humeur de facteur, an electroacoustic recording created by Yves Beaupré from the various sounds made during construction of a harpsichord. It was a fascinating and revelatory experience, and Aparanthesi by John Oswald is no less so.

Oswald, born in 1953 to what he describes as “a profoundly amusical family”, is a familiar Canadian figure in the world of new music. He created Aparanthesi, of which two versions appear on this disc, as an exploration of a single pitch, an idea with which he has worked in several earlier compositions. “I was hoping to find an interesting way to follow… the morphing of a pitch through various instrumental, acoustic and electronic forms,” he tells the reader in a lengthy interview contained in the CD package. The results are quite remarkable. Using the sounds of piano, cello, birds, thunder and rain, cattle, a foghorn, and more, Oswald has created an extraordinary, interior/exterior auditory experience. There isn’t sufficient space here to go into further ‘technical’ details; follow the links at if you’re curious. What I personally appreciate is Oswald’s invitation to tune into a particular musical sound-world, and then to follow its effects upon one’s own inner world. Kudos to empreintes DIGITALes for providing us with the opportunity.

… a fascinating and revelatory experience…