Off the Spine

Dwight Loop, e/i magazine, no 1, 31 mars 2003

Belgum-born Dunkelman’s first release on empreintes DIGITALes is the work of an acousmatic composer whose sound sculptures are sought after by many other artists for performance and installation. His music has been utilized in dance (Michele Noiret), sculpture (Charlotte Marchal), painting (Axel Miret), and fashion design (Azniv Afsar). These collaborations have opened up Dunkelman’s repertoire in that they’ve brought into play the ‘space’ that interpretive music demands. In all seven compositions on Rhizomes, he displays a true understanding of the use of silence in elaborate constructions. Time and again, the resonance of the spaces between the sounds give breathing room to Dunkelman’s creative interplay. Nowhere is this more evident than on the disc’s opening track, Metharcana, where the sound is choreographed to sudden rhythmic shifts. One could easily imagine a dancer’s fluid movements to each carefully crahed sound cluster; likewise on Rituellipses, with its halting staccato patterns, where envelopes quickly appear and disappear on a minimalistic aural canvas. The most mysterious and intriguing selection on the disc is the finale, Thru, Above, and Between, Dunkelman’s first ever work composed specifically for radio and sees him realizing his wish of: “wanting to present a resolutely musical alternative for an electroacoustic genre too often influenced by literary thinking. The city… is presented as an imploding dream. Brussels, too dependent on the dreams of others, must constantly look elsewhere to rediscover its own.” The sounds of Brussels—voices, footsteps, rain, trains and automobiles—are used as stitched patterns over echoed drones created from reverberations of the past, present, and future: Dunkelman delivers a record well worth its duration.

… he displays a true understanding of the use of silence in elaborate constructions.