by SCOTT McLAUGHLIN
Scott has written a wonderful piece about the composition of “there are neither wholes nor parts” which helps you understand what is happening and why.
But I want to write about what it sounds like.
“metastable harmony”, the first track, sounds like wind over a frozen lake, a skate skreeling on the surface, wind raising a resonance in the wires against an iron sky – the essence of sharp, of cold, of ice.
Then with a deep throb – the troll beneath the bridge we all heard about as children growls angrily, “Who's that trit trotting over my bridge?” The Billy Goat Gruff totters across the bridge wrapped in a scream of nervous tension.
“there are neither wholes nor parts – II” belongs to Jonathan Sage on basset horn. All watery in a dark cave, a dark pool, a cool clear echo. Ripples calmly expanding.
In “surfaces of emergence” soft and blue emerald masses bump gently together, reminding me of Ivon Hitchen's painting of the Divided Oak Tree.
As wind sweeps a lake surface, as if a single impulse can at once be everywhere, distance and time can be uncoupled and action blush instantaneously, this is a “massy piece”: the cup of air between hillsides, the liquid gasp of sunlight.
With the return of “there are neither wholes nor parts - IA”, this time with Iain Harrison on alto sax, there is s t e a l t h, menace, a hunt is on.
The taut poise of a chameleon, one foot poised, immobile. A lost beast in an arid place.
“at least two things” has the slightly anxious breathy voice of Elisabeth Smalt and an eerie almost featureless note that could soundtrack the appearance of the slab in 2001: A Space Odyssey. As the slab slowly revolved in Stanley Kubrick's film, the sunlight suddenly slashed into view.
And “there are neither wholes nor parts returns -II”, this time with Jonathan Sage on clarinet, a mood of deep disquiet, maybe the soundtrack of an empty room, nursery curtains blowing at an open window. Or the sounds of a blown leaf in an empty playground, A cry answered only by silence. The silence answered only by its own echo.
photo by Krista Kruger