Christian Renou, Fragments and Articulations

Fragments and articulations no. 1 opens with some very soft, distant sounds that make almost a complicated little tune of sorts. Almost. Then in the foreground, some staticky noises appear, making the same complicated little pattern. After the background has become louder, and come to the front, everything falls away and some much electrified cymbal noodling takes over. A low tone underneath gets louder and louder until the noodling (same complicated little pattern?) and the tone are to the front. Yes, just like that introductory bit.

All that was not to start a blow by blow account of this piece, but, beyond whetting your appetite, to suggest that the words fragments and articulations might not prepare you for such carefully developed ideas. The overall effect of a casual hearing is of a fairly random collection of different noises, some sustained tones, some bright, hard articulated attacks, some clattering, spinning, staticky noises, presented as a series of crescendi and decrescenti. But as soon as you listen carefully, at any point in any of these three, you’ll be impressed at the intricate detail and at how each piece is distinct, not because the sounds are different necessarily, but because the materials are all so cunningly worked out. In brief, pieces that reward the most intent scrutiny.

By the way, near the beginning of number 3, you’ll be frightened into cutting the volume before the neighbors arrive if not the police. Don’t give in to your fears.

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