Review of Wayfinding [12k2047]

Drifting, Almost Falling (BLOG)

While Christopher Bissonnette is a new name to the 12k roster he has been releasing music since the early 00’s with releases coming out on imprints such as Kranky, Home Normal, 1631 Recordings and Dronarivm to name a few. His most recent release was the stunning “Wine Dark Sea” album while maintaining the minimalism of “Wayfinding” was in a more drone orientated style. Bissonnette describes his oeuvre as that he has “actively explored visual art, sound and video in a variety of contexts ranging from art galleries to music venues. Over the past twenty years Bissonnette has continued to expand his aural vocabulary and production techniques incorporating elements of music concrete, electroacoustics, field recording and modular synthesis.”

The descriptor microsound is somewhat apt but also restricting. It reveals the delicacy of the materials and sounds, but also comes across as a rather one dimensional idea which Bissonnette’s music clearly is not. Best experienced with headphones on and no background noise, the pieces on “Wayfinding” reveal all the subtle little intricacies of themselves and show a multi-layered and intriguing soundscapes. Bissonnette creates these miniatures of sound which reveal texture, tone, shape and space as well as a juxtaposition of sources which open up a variety of possibilities for the listener to enquire. The Electroacoustic style is noticeable as much as an Ambient one with the pieces nicely balancing between an accessible and intellectual approach.

Naturally depending on the listeners taste their ears will bend to a particular sound or style in the way that they process the works. The one thing that becomes apparent from the beginning is this is not one dimensional music. Bissonnette laces all these ‘Easter eggs’ of sound into his compositions which can then influence how you hear and receive them. With usual reviews I tend to try in the best way that I can with my limited language, describe the pieces, but for “Wayfinding” I will skip this approach and let the reader discover the pieces for themselves as I don’t think I could really do them justice. “Wayfinding” is available on Lp and Digital and comes recommended.

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