Review

Henry Schneider, Vital, no 298, 12 novembre 2001

Jonty Harrison is another British electroacoustic composer and his CD may be the most accessible of three recent DiM [empreintes DIGITALes] releases (Sources/scènes, Traces, and Évidence matérielle). This CD contains five compositions spanning the past ten years. The first piece, Klang, uses the sounds of two earthenware casseroles to which Jonty adds the ingredients of cow-bells, metal rods, and aluminum bars to prepare an eerie meal of reverberating tones. Sorties is about fleeing an interior space for an exterior one, only to find that you are mysteriously trapped in a much larger interior space, like being inside one of those Russian dolls. The sonic sources are recognizable (cars, trucks, trains, walking shoes, children at play) and only add to the dark and brooding atmosphere of the composition. Surface Tension is constructed literally from the dry brittle sounds of packing material (Styrofoam and cardboard) that, after processing, have a somewhat organic texture as the material is put under greater and greater stress. Shifting now to wood and its varied sounds as it is twisted, tapped, burned, and otherwise strained is the subject matter for Splintering. Clocking in at almost 20 minutes, it might be overlong. The final piece is Streams with the obvious water reference. Water can be so melodic and Jonty wrings out all of its nuances in Streams. If you are interested in cutting-edge electroacoustic music, check out the DiM [empreintes DIGITALes] label and, especially, Jonty Harrison.

… cutting-edge electroacoustic music…