Posts Tagged ‘Immediata’

Immediata – IMM010 – 3rd July 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

One track spanning fifty minutes. It’s one of those compositions which lacks explicit firm, and creeps and crawls and spreads itself like a low fog that drifts under doors and through cracks in windows. Much of The Slow Creep Of Convenience is quiet, to the point of near inaudibility. It’s most definitely background music, and ambient in the purest sense, in that it affects the mood subliminally, infiltrating the psyche almost completely imperceptibly. It is, as the title suggests, a slow creep, an album which slowly, invisibly reaches in and subtly massages the edges of the mental state, rather than affecting an overt and direct transformation.

It’s almost exactly a year since Anthony Pateras released to very different albums simultaneously, and the style of The Slow Creep Of Convenience is very different from either of those, revealing an artist capable of significant creative diversity. The Moment In and Of Itself and The Long Exhale, while contesting and in some respects complimentary, were both overtly experimental. The Slow Creep Of Convenience is infinitely more restrained, focused. It’s very much a minimalist work.

We’ve covered the slow creep, but what about the convenience? Reading this as social commentary, and perhaps as a quieter parallel to Arsenal’s Factory Smog is a Sign of Progress, The Slow Creep Of Convenience stands as a document referencing the less positive aspects of the endless tide of progress and development. Just as industrialisation heralded the onset of the modern age and a new mode of existence, which brought with it infinite benefits but also new and unprecedented problems, so the shift toward convenience, toward tertiary industry, the advent of leisure industries, heralded the arrival of the age of stress, anxiety and dysfunction. We now live in a culture of endless immediacy, centred around instant online transaction and interaction, around immediate dispatch. Amazon Prime is nothing to on-line banking and Hungry House. Everything I available immediately, at the click of a button. Smartphones may have only come to the market in 2008 – less than a decade ago – but the revolution has already happened and we’ve all been utterly engulfed by the pace of development. So just how slow has his creep been in real terms?

In some respects, it doesn’t matter: our perception of time has changed. Time is accelerating, and in the age of convenience, it’s easier than ever to evaporate time. But who noticed?

The undulating, intertwining drones and hovering, jangling, multitonal hums with the texture of dragonfly wings which forge extended passages of this multi-faceted work intimate a nagging unease, the underlying discomfort of anxiety. It’s more than difficult to pinpoint, of course: it’s simply there in the background, yet impossible to ignore.

 

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