"TION" C44
(OBS Modern Electroacoustics)

About one hundred years ago, Luigi Russolo’s Intonarumori sought to re-define our recently-industrialized mind’s ear, re: “What is Noise?” and “What is Composition?” The sighs and moans of factories and engines were thus refined and expertly arranged to show how truly tonal shrieking metal can be, how a slow grumble can rumble itself into some lulling, rhythmic mood.

Fast forward another century to Somnoroase Pasarele’s latest “TION”, which takes that concept and applies it to the 21st century’s ever-growing cache of electrically produced cacaphonies, but with more painstakingly precise (digital) arrangements & timbral augmentation that would have taken a lifetime to write/perform, back in Russolo’s time.

Russia’s OBS Modern Electroacoustics now offer us “TION”, a tape (or CDr) where both of the 20+ minute passages evoke images of haunted merry-go-rounds with most brutal horror shows acted out in slow motion, with piezo pick-ups (by the dozen) placed strategically about, to harvest a swarming chorus of steel slashes, grinding gears, struggling motors, gravel stuck in boots, dragging on the floor, distant shrieks…this is stop-time temperament, capturing the minute and a half before the harrowing climax, a tension-building-block distillation in its most efficient essence. Dis-ease. Pre-climactic panic attack.

Below are a few visualizations I’ve repeatedly achieved whilst listening, with headphones, eyes closed, and a nice candle a few feet away:

Incantations. Cult crickets. Gutteral howls. Sword-fights in slow motion. Rainsticks. Static. Frogs. Fog. Aol modems. Copper is one ductile conductor. Sonorous ice scraper’s’wish-upon-a-windshield. Overpass. Atonal gestures assume myriad natural phenomena. Chorus of buzz saws.

Australian tribal commencement. Clinical-electrical outlet assessments. Ill-tempered co-worker(s) run(s) amok. Bad things. Just. Bad. As pace of bad be established, more bad keeps on a-chuggin’ along. How bad could it get? A pattern persists. A gong intervenes. Or maybe carves out open space. For bassoon of heavy. Oh, then back to pattern-al, minimal discomfort. Slow set up. Getting okay with it. Now bassoon notably more comfy. Calmly lumbering through otherwise this discreet sound-set.

Insectivorous waterfowl setting up shop along muddy, dusky banks. Haunted factory conveyor belts spring to life, jostling broken glass, loose change, rusty bolts. Water still, save creeping oars making way on down home. Cycles of growth & decay confuse one for an other, a seam-ripper in reverse. Incomplete buckets boast & bray for more chances. Nightfall sings her tail to sleep.

Bottom link is to SP’s visual art.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan