RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

CD Feature/ Asher: "Untitled Composition (For B)"

img  Tobias

As the necessary technologies are becoming affordable, we are sure to witness a slew of 5.1. and 4.1 Audio-releases over the next couple of years. While some of them are bound to remain gadgets, surround sound really makes sense in the case of Asher. 

Even though it is by now almost impossible to make any general claims about his work, which has grown steadily and in different directions at the same time, a continuing theme seems to be the search for tangents between our physical surroundings and the world of music. While releases such as “In Camera” (on homophoni) and “The Depths, the Colours, the Objects and the Silence” (on Mystery Sea) have taken a similar approach, “Untitled Composition (For B)” must therefore be considered as a sort of temporary acme simply for conceptual reasons.

Whether or not it is one in musical terms as well depends on your point of view. Those who expect this DVD to reveal new mysteries from the medially enigmatic musician from Somerville, Massachusetts or to make use of the visual capacities of the medium will most likely be disappoinzed: For the entire duration of the piece, 24-minutes overall, the screen remains a granular black.

The arrangement furthermore suggests that the compositional method and the source material of “For B” are within arms-length of the records mentioned in the second paragraph: Noises culled from the street form a dynamic, familar and delicately raw surface, while slowly attacking tone pulsations come bubbling up from deep below. The effect is one of gradual errosion: Differences between field recordings and studio sounds are washed away, the timbres of rain and cars driving by merge into a single, dense layer and the concrete emmissions take on a sensual and mystic quality.

Interestingly enough, the album strongly suggests that Asher achieves these unique results by essentially treating both elements – self-recorded samples and pitched notes – in the same way: Both heave and breathe, creating an organic flow. His field recordings appear to be cyclical, repeating themselves in certain intervals with nothing but slight adjustments in parameters such as volume or distortion. “For B” is consequently less of an aural place and more of a movement of nature – a storm rising and calming down again, drizzle setting in and making way for a blue sky, an uncomforting semblance rising and returning to its den. 

While Asher may not have reinvented himself here, the again meticulously realised vision is nonetheless enough of a reason in itself to cherish this short work. As with many of his previous releases, the similarities disappear with each listen, giving way for ever new nuances and surprises. There is also a strong sense that the inevitable comparisons between his albums will increase one’s understanding of each of them. 

Even the „visuals“ seem to fit in, which is the most remarkable part of it all. Music, as literature and probably all other forms of art, does not live from spelling everything out, but rather from the power of allusion. If you can make a black screen seem alluring and meaningful, then you must be doing something right.

Homepage: Asher
Homepage: Leerraum Records

Related articles

Zimoun: Exhibitions and Projects 2008/2009
After approaching the conclusion of ...
Asher Thal Nir: Sourdine presents variations on "Graceful Degradations"
Asher Thal-Nir has announced the ...
CD Feature/ Shinkei & Philip Lemieux: "Binaural Beats+Reprocessing"
A down-scaled version of SUNN ...
CD Feature/ ASG: "Win Us Over"
Fresh, interesting and ripping: Taking ...
CD Feature/ V.A.: "Well Deep: Ten Years of Big Dada Records"
Top-drawer stuff: The most bizarre ...
Net Feature/ Kosmonaut: "Frames EP"
The first “Cosmic Drum n ...
Net Feature/ Asher: "Study for Autumn"
Gentle focus-manipulations: A solitary piano ...
Net Decks 21
Techno & Electronica, Ambient & ...
CD Feature/ asher: "the depths, the colors, the objects & the silence"
The streets are singing softly: ...
CD Feature/ Kenneth Kirschner: "november 18, 2004 et al."
An incredible sensitisation: Leads to ...
15 Questions to Asher Thal-Nir
2005 and 2006 have been ...
CD Feature/ asher: "landscapes elsewhere"
Asher plants melodic fragments into ...
CD Feature/ asher: "directions"
Words are a distraction when ...

Partner sites