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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Lei Liang, Hearing Landscapes, Hearing Icescapes


As we travel through the seasonal cycle we experience the natural and cultural elements tied to each. It is a part of our birthright to recognize each element in conjunction with its multi-complemental whole. Major living Modernist composer Lei Liang gives us two major electroacoustic soundscapes that span seasonal and culturo-natural zones of timeliness conjoining multidisciplinary gestalts in two multipart works of importance, Hearing Landscapes, Hearing Icescapes (New Focus Recordings FCR 360). 

The idea is that through a combining of musico-artistic and scientific knowledges we can appreciate a kind of vibrant soundscape inside a broad episteme, or that at least is my take on it all. The granular methodologies include oceanography, Chinese landscape painting and Folk Song, software development, earth science and underwater acoustics. The electroacoustic soundscapes vary between earthy and resonant, or electro-acoustically noisy, or birdcall filled natural landscapes. They combine at times with  instruments in blends uncanny, adding trumpet, flute and/or violin.

Hearing Landscapes perhaps has the more vivid and absorbing sound sequence, but both stand out as poetic, intelligent and evocative. It is a music of impressive strength and lingering profundity if you meet it all halfway, or that is my take on it at least. This is one of the landmark efforts on the New Music scene today.  Take time for this music and it will pay off. Strongly recommended.

You can preorder now at Bandcamp. Official release date is March 10, 2023.

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