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Monday, October 3, 2022

Music From SEAMUS 31, New Electro-Acoustic Music 2022


The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) has done a great deal in the decades of its existence to forward the art and help get the word out to listeners. The annual SEAMUS selection of new Electro-Acoustic works define by its presence the US scene as it has now for 31 years. In any given year the density of the offerings can vary, but Music from SEAMUS 31 (New Focus Recordings CD) has a pleasing wealth of invention high by any standards.

This anthology sports some nine new works by composers not exactly household names. Two things stand out to me as I listen. One, that we need to appreciate what the digital world has given composers in electronics and transformed acoustics. The analog world had and has charms, of course. But the ease of editing and collating on the digital palette ideally leaves more time for composers to work out fully the sound color landscapes that center the music in vibrant imagination. You hear that nicely here. The sounds are rich, gorgeous at times, with a depth of field and clarity the medium now allows virtually as never before.

The second thing to note as you listen is the new dexterity that one hears in how composers can manipulate and extend vocal acoustics, both as transformed within realistic timbres, and also as artfully aural transformations passing out of our customary real-world sound.

And as you listen a few times you start feeling the pleasure of recognition--you increasingly get inside and understand intuitively the complex and elaborate structures, the almost lascivious pleasures of aural expansion.

This is the nicest, most interesting SEAMUS anthologies I've heard in a while. Do explore this if you want to hear the directions things are going in these days, or even if you have no idea about Electro-Acoustics and want to sample from a rich stream of possibilities over time. Here is what is happening now. Bravo.

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