Antony Burr – Anthony Pateras – The Long Exhale

Posted: 20 August 2016 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Immediata – IMM007 – 4th July 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

The Long Exhale is the second of two albums released simultaneously on Immediata, both featuring Anthony Pateras (as, indeed, do all of the Immediata releases, given that Immediata is Pateras’ project). Both superbly presented in a gatefold ‘Ecopak’ with hot-stamped lettering and released in editions of just 300, these are nice items, objets d’art no less.

They’re two very different albums: one energetic, vibrant, celebratory, spontaneous and intuitive, the other altogether more low-key, sparse and subdued in tone. As such, whereas the North of North album The Moment In and Of Itself was a bold, riotous affair, Pateras shows another side of his artistry on The Long Exhale, a collaboration with Anthony Burr. Described as ‘seven meditations for clarinets, pianos and electronics’, the album aims to ‘catalogue psychoacoustic experiments and Feldman-influenced acoustic excursions undertaken between 2014 and 2015.’

Like The Moment In and Of Itself, The Long Exhale is accompanied by an interview between the artists, with Pateras probing Burr about music and creativity. It’s an illuminating piece which provides some context for the album.

Pateras is on familiar terrain here, contributing sounds produced by piano and prepared piano, an instrument synonymous with John Cage and also adopted by Erik Griswold and evolved by Reinhold Friedl. Because of the nature of the instrument (it simply doesn’t produce sounds recognisable as emanating from a piano) and the fact Burr utilises an ARP 2600 (vintage analogue synth enthusiasts will no doubt be aware of the capabilities of this popular instrument, which was used to voice R2-D2 in Star Wars), the origins of individual sounds are obscured.

The long exhale is a breathing technique used in Yoga, and is also recognised as a method for curbing anxiety. This album is indeed calming, gentle, and unhurried and is certainly unlikely to provoke feelings of anxiety or excitement of the kind which would increase the heart rate. What it does provide is a gentle mental massage.

The first track, the ten-minute ‘Some Association That I Didn’t Know About’ is built around a wavering, sustained humming drone. Incidentals chime and hover. Fleeting moments emerge on ‘That Wasn’t the Idea at All’ where piano and clarinet notes are recognisable, but they’re warped, bending, while on ‘Doesn’t Show’, the prepared piano notes manifest as chimes like plucked strings – which in essence is what they likely are. The album’s overall tone is sombre, sparse and atmospheric. Hushed, meandering explorations drift and float through a fugue-like soundscape. And… breathe.

Long Exhale

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Comments
  1. […] to its polar opposite is invaluable. Piano 1 isn’t strictly a polarity against works like Antony Burr and Anthony Pateras’ The Long Exhale, Angelina Yershova’s Piano’s Abyss or James Batty’s Sanctuary, it is a very different kind of […]

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