Performance @ the Contemporary Museum

The medium of choice for artist Richard Chartier is sound, which he explores with a subtlety and restraint rarely found in the world of "electronic music."

His compositions explore the substance of sound itself, utilizing a remarkably varied sonic palette; from high-pitched beeps and whirrs, to unfathomably low drone and almost imperceptible tones, to a varied cast of electronic hisses, crackles, sizzles, and microscopic pops.

Chartier's work could easily be defined as minimal or sparse, but it deftly moves between periods of contemplative near silence to sections of enveloping waves of sound, completely transforming the space and physically those within it.

Although Chartier's stage presence is less than thrilling-a slow motion version of the ubiquitous "guy behind the laptop twiddling knobs"- it presents no distraction if you close your eyes in order to truly experience the sonic environment he is creating.

Chartier's restraint certainly does not make for "easy listening," but for those willing to meet the work halfway the often difficult journey is well worth the trouble

- Ryan McCabe

Richard Chartier