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Friday, June 21, 2013

Christopher Hobbs, Sudoku 82, EP

Christopher Hobbs was a member of the pioneering AMM, the Scratch Orchestra and studied with Cornelius Cardew. Sudoku 82 (Cold Blue 0033) is a 20-minute work for eight pianos, written as one of over 100 such pieces by the English composer using the logic of Sudoku puzzles. Brian Pezzone plays all the piano parts, which were then subject to looping.

The result is ravishingly beautiful, with ultra-slow, spanned-out chordal suspensions unveiling themselves in aural space like Nimbostratus clouds drifting slowly across the panorama of blue sky. The chordal envelopes work together subtly, one after another, in a haunting sort of tonality that is not affective as much as processually natural, lingering, formations with human origins yet with extra-human, majestic limpidity.

There is affinity in my ears to some of Satie's piano music and also some of the John-Cage-as-Satie pieces, with that prismatic aura even more refracted and embodied, slowed down to a reflective chordal-chorale crawl.

It is music that has an uncanny quality, an ultra-present-day kind of natural impressionism that is a marvel to hear. If you think the pomo ambient textural kind of music (Eno, etc.) has made a final kind of foray into our ears, you would do well to hear this EP. It gives you a wholly refreshed and fully alive newness to its cosmic contemplation. Unforgettable!

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