Music Reviews

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Artist: Magda Mayas & Christine Abdelnour (@)
Title: Myriad
Format: CD
Label: Unsounds (@)
Rated: *****
Do you have any doubts about massive popularity of birds yet? Besides the recent haven of the Pope on Twitter - an authentic slog for moderators to restrain ironic anathemas he's receiving... -, many musicians and sound artists look like very interested in their language, which could boast about many attempts of emulation. Such a tendency in contemporary music seems to be poured into the gorgeous sonic explorations by Berlin-based pianist Magda Mayas, who wisely replaced piano tonal extent with the width of expressive possibilities deriving from the consideration of that instrument as a sonorous tangle of wood and wire, and French-Lebanese alto-saxophonist Christine Abdelnour, whose interesting and somewhat offbeat extended techniques and intricate tonal patterns, focused on high-pitched tones and microtonal properties of her instrument, have already been commended on this zine. Recorded live by Radio France on the occasion of Meteo Festival in Mulhouse, "Myriad" starts with a sort of tuning phase where Magda pluck and stretch piano strings and Christine rises nervous strain with puffs and trembling of lips which could let you think about whir of a bird, before their adventurous sonic birdcage begins to animate amidst buzzes, tolls, sonic warbles, squeaks, rusty playstands and broken ladders and swing on the first long-lasting (almost half an hour of mood swings and funny resounding tricks) track "Hybrid". The sudden plucking which starts "Cyanide" could let you imagine the impulsive breaking of that birdcage's bars, the flight of its inhabitants, which keep on tweet at a short distance while the instruments, which used to echo and mimic their song, get gradually poisoned...



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