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<<  -- 2 --  Keith Bramich    ALL IN THE MIX

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The music heard was forged from both sampled sounds from the real world and computer-generated material, making good use of the entire audio spectrum. The rich mix featured noise, static, pure tones and bell sounds, bangs, sampled speech and an aircraft [listen], treated to various types of computer filtering and processing. Sometimes the result was quite complex, resembling the tuning of a radio receiver through one of the shortwave bands. At other times it was more similar to running machinery, with the sound gradually changing in quality. This gradual changing of repeated and continuous sounds was a hallmark of the piece, and the changes were often subtle, such as a broadening of the frequency range of filtered noise.

Part of the Acousmonium Loudspeaker Orchestra in Amsterdam's Frascati Theater. Photo: Keith Bramich 2003
Part of the Acousmonium Loudspeaker Orchestra in Amsterdam's Frascati Theater. Photo: Keith Bramich 2003

In summary, an interesting spread of unusual delicacies of processed sound, reproduced at extremely high quality, with clear presentation of ideas. But was this enough to sustain the interest of the audience for seventy minutes? The couple sat next to me decided early on that this wasn't for them, leaving after ten minutes or so, one of their seats being filled immediately by a pair of boots from someone in the row behind. Noone else left during the performance, though, and the audience was notably quiet and attentive throughout.

After the concert, members of the audience examine the onstage setup and discuss the performance. Photo: Keith Bramich 2003
After the concert, members of the audience examine the onstage setup and discuss the performance. Photo: Keith Bramich 2003

But when the laptops, CD player and mixing desk had done their work, ending with a steady low tone, through which filtered noise grew, then ebbed and flowed like rushing water before fading to nothing, the applause was rudely short -- a sharp 'thumbs down' from the Amsterdam intelligentsia and a vote of no confidence from the youth culture normally so appreciative of these three musicians when working individually.

The stage for 'GRM Experience 2' at Amsterdam's Frascati Theater. Photo: Keith Bramich 2003
The stage for 'GRM Experience 2' at Amsterdam's Frascati Theater. Photo: Keith Bramich 2003

For my part, interesting and varied as this creation was, it failed to move me very much as music, and failed to engage me at any level beyond the immediate thrill of the sounds.

Copyright © 6 November 2003 Keith Bramich, Worcestershire UK

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CHRISTIAN ZANÉSI

MIKA VAINIO

CHRISTIAN FENNESZ

GRM

STEIM

THE ACOUSMONIUM LOUDSPEAKER ORCHESTRA

CONCERTS AT THE NOORDERKERK

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