Friday, June 10, 2022

The Sonic Arts Ensemble, Live from the Multiverse, Collective Improvisations in A Modern Classical Zone


There may be more than one way to look at things in our present-day music spheres, and all the better for that, as we can ill afford a tendency to dismiss various trends of New Music based on some dogma. I try always not to get myself boxed into a set of expectations. And happily.there comes music now and again that defies what might be typical of a period. Today I am glad to talk about such an album--namely the Sonic Arts Ensemble and their album Live from the Multiverse (Ravello RR 8065).

It is a most interesting presentation of one compositional vehicle and then some four collective improvisations, accomplished with some advanced audio technology that fascilitates a kind of multi-artist live but musically and audio-wise a sophisticated kind of ultra-quasi-Zoom for simultaneous group performances.

And then of course what natters is the music itself. Marc Ainger on guitar and laptop and some 14 additional musicians--both ensemble members and special guests, form different size ensembles for each work.

The results are very fascinating sound color, extended technique and an electronically sophisticated series of improvisations that cluster in various ways, sprawling in a more New Music orientation than a Avant Jazz one--so think of the heritage of such groups as MEV and Il Grupo, AMM etc. This gathering is especially sensitive to one another--there is a pronounced and very captivating series of ambient music panoramas, a wide scope of soundscapes of character and poetic substance.

The more one listens the more one finds oneself drawn into the vortex of sound and style. It takes a few listens but in the end one feels that one is in the presence of the truly new! Highly recommended.`

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