Scatter. “Sonic Circuits IX,” Innova 118

I want to say that this piece does not so much use sounds to construct a musical argument as it is a piece that is about sounds, a piece that presents sounds and lets them be themselves. Glass and metal. Sounds made by spinning or rolling. Clattering and tapping. Whirring and buzzing.

Around midpiece, some footsteps lead up to some squeaky hinge sounds. And some great low thumps, with some really loud spinning and rolling noises. And some really loud clattering and whirring, even a motor with rising pitch (to give it that revving engine effect).

You may have guessed, just from that précis, that the piece is actually quite tightly constructed. So what I have to say about it now is that it is one of those rare pieces in which the sounds are both pure—present for their own sake—and part of a musical thread, with tension and relaxation, with ideas passed from “voice” to “voice,” with recurring “themes” and variation. All at the same time. (Yes, I know. It’s still true.)

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