I think I can safely say that the releases on Empreintes Digitales are not the easiest ones to digest. Let’s just say that their electroacoustic/acousmatic music and musique concrète will not likely appear on the playlist of your yoga studio. But if you can appreciate exciting adventures in electronic music, their releases are not to be missed. Univers parallèles is a fine example of what the label represents.
Todor Todoroff is an electrical engineer with a specialization in telecommunications. But he also received prizes for various electroacoustic compositions, researched speech processing, developed instruments used by composers like Leo Kupper and Robert Normandeau. Deeply involved in the creation of electroacoustic music, ‘with a special interest for multiphony and sound spatialisation as well as for research into new forms of sound transformation.’
Univers parallèles presents six compositions that span quite some time: they were created between 1993 and 2017. The original pieces were created for 2-, 4-, 8- and even 12-channel installations. They are of course mixed down to stereo versions for this CD release, but still have a fascinating depth (Empreintes Digitales used to release their albums on DVD with full surround versions, but I see no mentions of this for this release, unfortunately).
Each track is extensively connotated, but the ‘music’ (if we can still call it music is of course open for discussion) is enough to spark your imagination, and see yourself entering a strange unknown world full of huge, seemingly autonomic operating, machines.
By nature, this kind of acousmatic music may feel remarkably detached from human emotions (depending on the listener of course). This is particularly NOT true for the closing track Requiem for a City, which is dedicated ‘to all the victims of blind violence, their friends and their loved ones’. Todoroff wrote this composition after several (terrorist) attacks in Belgium and France: “This piece makes use of a wide variety of sounds: field recordings, playing techniques specific to the viola, granulated excerpts of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and of the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, modular analog synthesis and sounds extracted from radio and television news coverage following the November 13 attacks.”