Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, 25 août 2003

Born in 1953, Parmerud is already a major electroacoustic composer and Jeu d’ombres confirms his status without a doubt. The six pieces contained here run across a big rangy arc, spanning from the nice “analog vs digital” contrast of the spacey Renaissance to the almost violent character - like it was a sound shootout - of Stringquartett, where samples of strings are treated in way of percussive hits, electric chattering and environmental menace. The only pure tape piece is the final Repulse, a track based on sound placing and textural transformation more than pitches; on the other hand, Retur is Parmerud’s idea of jazz analysis and a sort of delayed homage, as it’s based upon a Charlie Parker phrase that Stockholm Saxophone Quartet chew and spit out - with the composer’s help of course. While Les flûtes en feu, with its flute spectral modification and timbral scanning, is great listening in itself, the most intense and beautiful piece for your reviewer is the initial Strings & Shadows, where the basic sound is harp: its alternative between fairy tale and nightmare, life and death, security and fear is fundamental in the creation of a masterpiece of unresolving tension.

… a masterpiece of unresolving tension.

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