The Australian pianist/electronicist Pateras is the moving force in this fascinating project. Modeled to some extent after Xenakis' classic percussion composition, 'Pleïades', Pateras used electronic improvisations originally created by Noetinger and integrated them with his own notated piece performed by Synergy Percussion, using essentially the same array of instruments as in the Xenakis composition, including some of those expressly created for that work, like the Sixxen.
The result is a dense, bubbling, almost liquid recording, murky rumblings giving birth to ringing, buzzing tones, washes of electronics clearing spaces, laying ground for new episodes. Everything is quite clear, providing a strong spatial sense. The metallophone-like percussion is often deployed in an at least quasi-rhythmic manner, its relatively regular pattern played off against the more abstract electronics, presumably Noetinger's, lending the music a Javanese tinge. Noetinger's contributions, as reconfigured here, carry none of the synthetic INA GRM-ish patina sometimes heard on his own work — everything sounds alive and natural. The third section deploys rotations of malleted tom-toms or the like, shifting and streaming over a haze of echoey, perhaps backwards-looped electronics, a rather bravura exposition but more stirring than show-offish, eventually building to a finely chaotic clatter and swirl. The final section is something of an electronics tour de force with a series of blistering explosions emerging sporadically over a haze of bowed and gently tapped percussion before settling into a calmer, beautifully maintained kind of stasis to close out the work.
This is a superbly realized piece by Pateras, strong and tense throughout, a vibrant and new approach to the issue of melding composition and improvisation. Also included is an excellent booklet containing two lengthy conversations, one between Pateras and literary critic Sylvère Lotringer, the other between Pateras and Noetinger, both quite illuminating.
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