Music Reviews

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Artist: WARREN BURT
Title: The Animation of Lists And the Archytan Transpositions
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: Xi records (@)
Rated: *****
Ever heard speaking about music that’s "out of time"? If so, that’s the definition that came to my mind when I started having a clear perception of the audio-portrait painted by people like Scelsi, Ligeti or Feldman... and as you’ve probably guessed, the compositions of Warren Burt gave me the same vibe. The sound is really close to that of a glockenspiel much more than a vibraphone, but from what I’ve read in the line notes the work has been played with self-built "just-intonation tuning forks", it has been multi-tracked and later transposed with a computer. It looks like the idea of the first composition is linked to an old collaboration of Burt with Phill Niblock and recorded in three passes. A review would be too short and maybe inappropriate to add further technical details about the work, but the work behind this cd is really complex, above all for an ignorant listener/player like me. "I wish this complex two-part sonic object will provide the listener with many opportunities for contemplation and enjoyment"... for what concern contemplation, I can guarantee this music creates a deep and meditative atmosphere, but I seriously doubt "The Animation of Lists And the Archytan Transpositions" will generate something even barely comparable to "enjoyment". Thanks to an incredible sound definition and to the unique voice of his self-built instrument, Warren Burt floods the room with the resonance of every played note. What really add beauty to an already wonderful release is the tempo used by the composer, his quiet playing, his patiently waiting for the appropriate moment to go for the next note: all these things together generate an incredible acoustical dimension. The fact is that the impression everything is moving so slowly it is barely still is probably wrong since the succession of notes is not that sluggish but the impression I got is that during the listening inside the room everything is moving slowly. Burt plays the soundtrack for abandoned buildings where light and dust are the only tenants... it looks like an old black and white photo crystallizing a face forever. This’ an evocative work that in some way also reminded me of some of the best Cage’s works for prepared piano, if not acoustically at least for the odd ambience in which you get absorbed during the listening. It’s really hard to describe the intensity of this cd with a stupid review, but please do yourself a favor give it a listen.




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