All Sound is Music 35, July 2023
Notes on the music:
Helene Vogelsinger – Reminiscence. Trained in film music orchestration and video game sound design, Vogelsinger divides her time between those two fields and the search for new sounds in electronic ambient music. She has released two albums of modular synthesizer music which is described on her Bandcamp page as being at the intersection of minimalism, ambient and orchestral.
Kohellus – Kalanvihreä. Kohellus is a Finnish band working in the realm of electroacoustic music. Electroacoustic music refers to music that is meant to be played back through a sound system, rather than played by performers. Contemporary usage often implies recorded music accompanied by live instrumentation. In that sense, Kohellus uses acoustic instruments, electronics and manipulations, to create soundscapes that are both organic and synthetic.
Dania – Adult Third Culture Child. Dania was born in Iraq, but grew up in Australia. Inspired by her work as an emergency room doctor, she uses the metaphor of removing foreign bodies in medicine to reflect on immigrants in their adopted societies. Her 2023 release Foreign Body touches, musically, on the fraught issues of forced migration, the sense of being an outsider and loss of cultural identity. A piece entitled “I Don’t Understand My Own Language” poignantly states the disconnect between herself and her heritage. In addition to her vocal loops and synthesizer, Dania uses samples of Iraqi musicians and poets to further create a sense of dislocated homelessness.
Dave Clarkson – Ghosts of Norfolk Coast. Clarkson finds his inspiration in field recordings. On his latest recording, A Pocket Guide to Further Afield Recordings – Obscure Locations of the British Isles, he recorded in isolated and unpopulated areas around the UK. His previous two recordings found him exploring and recording the sounds of abandoned fairgrounds, coastal ghost towns, caves and deep forests of the British Isles. His work captures the emotional spirit of remote, faded and obscure locations.
Lorenzo Montana & Peter Namlook – Secret Path. Born Peter Kuhlman, Namlook was an early proponent of German electronic music. A musician himself he is best known for founding a record label, FAX, which gave voice to many electronic musicians, including Montana. In just 13 years his label released 135 albums, including many solo and collaborative works. In this piece Montana pays tribute to Namlook who died of a heart attack in 2012.
The Thai Elephant Orchestra – The Ganesha Symphony #1: The Birth of Ganesha. Ganesha, represented by an elephant with multiple human arms, is the Hindu god of new beginnings, sometimes referred to as the “remover of obstacles.” Organized by neuroscientist and musician Dave Soldier and conservationist Richard Lair, the music was performed by elephants playing specially built instruments. In interviews Soldier discusses how the elephants quickly adapt to instruments, for example, finding the spots on wooden percussion instruments that make the most resonant sounds. The musical work of Soldier, Lair and the elephants helps to support the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, an elephant sanctuary in Thailand which they co-founded.
Michio Wiancko – Planetary Candidate. Wiancko is a New York-based composer and violinist. For her 2020 recording Planetary Candidate she commissioned her favorite composers to write pieces for solo violin that would, in her words: “create a world in which electronic and new classical music cozy up to each other without inhibition.” Her own contribution to the project Planetary Candidate uses extended playing techniques as well as common objects like a wooden kitchen spoon, a library card and seashells.
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