Posts Tagged ‘Glass Bowl’

clang records – clang032

Christopher Nosnibor

Stan Brakhage was an experimental filmmaker who sometimes closely shot glass objects. A huge influence on Frasconi, who sometimes makes music with glass instruments. The album title is a play on words, in reference not only to his artistic forebear but also the cracked quartz crystal bowl which was used to make this 20-minute musical work.

Having previously given the instrument a rather too vigorous workout during a rehearsal, Frasconi decided to explore its absolute limits. As Frasconi himself observes, ‘Glass is fragile. Glass is easily broken. Most glass instruments ignore these fact and instead focus on the material’s delicate beauty’.

Standing Breakage captures the artist’s efforts to complete the job he unintentionally began when the instrument – pictured on the front cover – became fractured. Ironically, despite labouring at the fracture in order to bring about the bowl’s ultimate destruction, he failed to achieve the desired moment of breakage. As such, for all its fragility, the glass held firm against a sustained assault.

An awareness of the circumstances of the album’s creation is, in this instance, integral to its appreciation, first and foremost, because if you didn’t know it was made using only the sounds created with a glass bowl, you would never guess that it was made using only the sounds created with a glass bowl. Because it doesn’t sound like it was made using only the sounds created with a glass bowl. In fact, it doesn’t sound like anything organic, or even of this world.

Standing Breakage finds Frasconi create an intriguing blend of chimes, rings, swirls and twangs, scrapes and chatters. Heavy, bulbous bass tones resonate, twisting and spinning upwards. Percussive thumps and sounds like scraping violin strings all emerge from the single instrument under the musician’s interrogation. Clanging, gong-like sounds crash. Eerie sounds that defy any obvious description, and sound alien and other-worldly in their origin drift. Booming synth-like notes balloon outwards, expanding in the air.

Tension mounts and builds. You sit, teeth on edge, fists clenched. You’ve no idea what will come next. You will twist and squirm. You’ll conjure myriad images in response to the strange sounds. But never once will you think ‘this sounds like someone pissing about with a glass bowl with a crack in it.’

Miguel Frasconi

Miguel Frasconi’s Website