Review

Glen Hall, 18 juillet 2012

Duration and density. Sonority and spatialization. Canadian electroacoustic / sound composer Darren Copeland creates intricate, engaging pieces that make commonplace sounds mysterious, evocative or just plain interesting. How long a sound is becomes malleable, and this makes listening active. Stretched or segmented, environmental sounds’ nature is tested, questioned, reframed in this 5.1 Surround Sound DVD-Audio’s 8 compositions. The voice of a single 9/11 witness becomes an entire soundscape through Copeland’s ingenious editing and processing in They’re Trying to Save Themselves. The phonemes of Streams of Whispers title are sifted, repositioned, transposed, deconstructed and, in general, ‘messed with’ to create an immersive soundscape. On Schedule was created using a demanding procedural strategy, which itself was subject to modification if sonic results were not satisfying. His willingness to make ‘theory’ subordinate to aesthetic sensitivity and judgement marks Copeland as an artist. Based on the train schedule between London and Moscow, each of the piece’s 27 sections focuses on differing facets of overtones and sound spectra, giving shape and movement to its selected elements. Listeners with a surround sound system can get the full effect of Copeland’s specialty: spatialization. At art space he founded, New Adventures in Sound Art, he can move sounds around a multichannel, surround and overhead sound system. On this disc, sounds move independently, rather than in the traditional back-and-forth of stereo panning. An offshoot of Copeland’s spatialized sound art is that it makes us more aware of the richness of our day-to-day sound world.

… it makes us more aware of the richness of our day-to-day sound world.

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