(Nonvisualobjects)

An analogue synthesizer (Yamaha CS-40M) and field recordings are the lone origins for this new outing by Heribert Friedl, who in Recherche_00 continues to intensify his interest in exploiting the inherent qualities of a single instrument, as he did with the cimbalom (or “hackbrett”) in Trac[k]_T (also on Nonvisualobjects). The composer refers to this attempt as a “journalistic” research process; more than a sheer report, the music seems instead to correspond to a scrupulous laboratory observation of the evolution of a creature, including the ultimate joy of watching it turn into a legitimate being.

From the outset an essential synthetic tone is processed and transformed into bare clicking symptoms, appearing in various combinations that break silence and validate it at once, thus exalting the opening chapter’s severe starkness. The second part features the distinct yet careful introduction of additional sources; spiky, sharp electronic discharges precisely collocated are now accompanied by steamy fluctuations and a recurring hissing incidence, which my intellect impulsively connects to the instants following a boiler firelight, a stifled whooshing flow that soon becomes a hallmark of the piece.

The final and longest movement fuses all the instances masterfully: it is here that, for the first time in the composition (and maybe in a large portion of Friedl’s usually quite detached experiments), an already manifest architectural stability is enhanced by a gorgeously ethereal breath of life. It’s a delicate matter of uncertain harmonic consistency whose complexion tends to a drone-ish impalpability which renders the whole piece balanced, neither overly woeful nor disproportionately scientific. Not surprisingly – given their earlier collaboration – I was reminded of Bernhard Günter while enjoying this particular movement. Recherche_00 may contain Friedl’s best intuitions to date, a true expansion of reductionism into a fully developed system for the transmission of emotions.

 

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