Review of Folding, And The Tea [12k1021]

Chronic Art (FR)

A sequel to Pollen (Fällt), Folding, And The Tea is the fourth record of Christopher Willits, newcomer on 12k. At first sight quite close to Sogar or Mitchell Akiyama (author of a sumptuous Temporary Music on Raster-Noton), the musical world of this californian guitar player, former student of Pauline Oliveros and of Fred Frith, is part of a promising renewal of the ‘aesthetics of failure’ as put into words by Kim Cascone in his analysis of the course followed by ‘post digital’ music, starting from the first records of Oval based on scarified CDs. Far from squeezing to the last drop the glitch strategy to offer nothing but a vain and aesthetic rehash, Willits makes the most of one of its aspects-sound fragmentation- to insert it into an original perspective (again) borrowed to Deleuze: that of the fold. Conceived as a mere demarcation in a continuous form, the folded line ‘retains the fluidity of the wholeness’. Writing on ‘the division of the continuous’, Leibniz preferred to the image of sand with its separate grains, the image of the sheet of paper that can be forever folded. Composed from a computer patch plugged to a guitar, the sixteen pieces of Folding, And The Tea thus generate an origami music where each click-beat becomes a crack in a sound continuum, a fold in a soft-key material. In this respect, the exploration of the sound properties of symmetry makes of Folding… the opposite of hazard-based music. Willits also achieves here an utterly tender and moving record, which doesn’t spoil our pleasure.

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