Tuesday, 19 May 2009

CRAIG HILTON – Craig Hilton


As it happens, discretion does not pay in terms of artistic recognition until the decision is taken to let someone know that you exist and do something positive, possibly not implying the standard level of overconfident egotism hiding a desperate superficiality. Craig Hilton, a composer who shows an undeniable ability but is probably too humble for his own good, is a man whose art I felt respect for since the first instants. He sent me a few of his releases a considerable while ago, as usual approached with culpable delay on my behalf, and one struggles to determine which is the best. This unassumingly packaged CDR – an entirely white sleeve, except for the titles - contains three splendidly diverse samples of this artist’s talents, each generating that sort of inner fluctuation and existential uncertainty that will never be experienced by listening to Mozart, and that is the fundamental spur to keep living selflessly.

The magnificent opening track - “Guzheng Improvisation 4” - bestirs the previously sheltered idealization of a stable mesmerism through a congruous exploration of the natural reverberation of a room; the instrument gets outrageously animated, ominously dissonant resonances alternated with turbulent contemplations of unreachable galaxies, echoes of a past reality ricocheting all around the place in an unprejudiced exhibition of open-minded creative acumen bathing in orchestral instantaneousness in one of the most absorbing music pieces heard in a long time. “Untitled Collaboration” also features Ur and, although decisively altering the scene’s characteristics, once again denotes an originality that’s there to admire. The palette in this case excludes sources of blissful entertainment almost completely, as the artists privilege vocal maledictions underscored by wavering drones and electronic morphing à la Roland Kayn, a palpable tension emerging to transform the soundscape in a paralysing demonstration of inadaptability, any sense of redemption cancelled by the awareness of a toxic incontrovertibility. “Untitled Piece For Strings” is a worthy conclusion, a wrapping layering of semi-static chords that, more than strings, seem to be born from a huge harmonium. The processing work is subtle yet effective, its foremost quality an intrinsic slow oscillation that sounds like a slight detuning, the very reason of further moments of cruel emotion.