Review of Shoals [12k1060]

Temporary Fault (BLOG)

As an artist in residence at the University of York’s Music Research Center, in England, Taylor Deupree found and immediately put to good use four Balinese gamelan instruments – Celempung, Gendèr, Saron and Bonang – belonging to the faculty. Shoals, his latest solo outing nearly three years after Northern, is entirely constructed upon layered loops that the composer generated by playing them in real time, but not in the expected manner. In fact, he stretched, superimposed, pitch-transposed and in general rendered more malleable the noisy features of the sonic tools, elicited by unconventional manipulations (scraping edges and undersides, or working on defects such as broken strings and the like). Once the activity was captured on tape together with the originator’s own noises as he worked in the studio, the whole was subjected to additional treatments under the guise of an Eventide Eclipse and a software called Kyma, which allowed Deupree to further develop his instantaneous intuitions. The result deserves to be warmly welcomed: in its semi-organic straightforwardness, this is a perfect paradigm of engaging reiterative music which, in the right circumstance – and even raising the volume a bit – reveals the complexities lying behind a world of subtle motion and attractive chiaroscuros while highlighting an intelligent approach to introspective improvisation. In this case, the ultimate key to a mitigating totality which works great both for active listening and for simulating an installation at your place.

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