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<<  -- 2 --  Malcolm Miller    INGENUITY AND MADNESS?


As a contrast the next five pieces combined voice with transformations: one was a plangent ostinato, the next a witty exchange between students, the next a jazz riff farmyard polyphony and a pop piece. After a few minimalist pieces, which showed little change in a minute, the possibilities of the small scale were shown to great effect by Noah Creshevksy's witty and imaginative piece, immediacy of effect. The following pieces 16-20 were all engaging exercises in electronic sounds, distortions, metallic shimmers, bell sounds broken into noise and janglings.

More instrumental sampling ensued, appealing and stimulating -- piano music created out of one note that is transformed, a brilliant scenario for double basses. Of those pieces using minimal electronics was a jazz number for father and son; there was some ethnic cross-culturalism and a witty use of speech interrupted by regular phone rings, all of which had more to do with music theatre.

Several works had a more serous significance relating to memory and memorials: 32-33 38, 32 and 33 used Hebrew, the first piece with a cantor and a piano and bass accompaniment yet all filtered through electronic layers of sound; the second, 60 seconds in memory of 6 million, blended layers of the Kaddish prayer; Robert Gluck's one-minute environmental soundscape of Prague (composed there on a recent visit) was eloquently paced with samples of cobbled streets, pacing through buildings and open air, a Czech conversation, to give a sense of 'being there'.

Jazz pop minutes by Alex Shapiro and others lightened the tone and made the hour pass with delight. Outstanding were two essays using piano and marimba as sources (46 and 48) while of the pure electronics, George Brunner (51) was immediately stimulating -- its varied palette of sounds. The last two pieces were overtly political, and as a witty ending, Unwelcome looped a soundbite from George Galloway's speech to the American Senate tribunal in an ironic, punchy miniature.

CDs and DVDs of the 60x60 project 2003-5 may be obtained by contacting Robert Voisey via the Vox Novus website, shown below.

Copyright © 24 December 2005 Malcolm Miller, London UK



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