Sunday, 22 August 2010

ASHER / FOURM – Selected Passages / Set.Grey


Asher’s “Selected Passages” is fashioned after the ultimate residues of a research on acoustic materials gathered in 2008 (partially heard in the Intervals album). Following the investigation of field recordings, radio snippets and the sounds of a piano found in a room of his Vermont residency at that time, he focused himself on the latter. The five movements included in this CD consist of a choice of simple chords, extremely thoughtful and melancholic and dirtied by a patina of static dustiness and distortion that alters the essential qualities, highlighting the traits of the composer’s renowned perceptive intensity. Generated from a sheer instrument, they’re transformed in a classic late-autumn soundtrack of dejected recollection, slowly deteriorating as the minutes flow.

Fourm is interested in erasing the typical structural elements of what’s commonly intended as “music”, to leave us with something that is as intangible as a ghost. The question – given the unfeasibility of listening to these asymmetrical subterranean murmurs if not in a completely silent setting or in an installation – is: how many people will be able to actually grasp the logic of this representation? An iPod, or the regular noise of a familial environment, are going to utterly suffocate this work. And it would be a shame: the amorphously nebulous manifestations detectable by raising the volume in absolute muteness – vaguely recalling some of Asmus Tietchens’ most abstract conceptions at times – are frequently riveting in their subsonic constituents, complementing the stillness (both inside and, eventually, outside) quite powerfully.