Review of Cedar Forest by Franz de Waard in Vital Weekly 934

GREG DIXON

GREG DIXON – CEDAR FOREST (CDR by Kohlenstoff Records)
« Another new name, this Greg Dixon from the USA. He’s a composer, instrumental music teacher, engineer, laptop musicians, guitarist, violinist and has worked on releases for such labels as Seamus, Irritable Hedgehog, New Adventures In Sound Art, Vox Novus, Pawlacz Perski, Flannelgraph Records and Winds Measure – and that last one is the only name I recognize. ‘Cedar Forest’ is his first full-length release on a label from Montreal. The five pieces here owe all strongly to the world of musique concrete, but there are some interesting differences to be spotted within these pieces. A piece like ‘You Station’ uses a whole bunch of field recordings, beneath an umbrella during a rain storm, a metal bowl filled with water, a wine glass and such like and the title piece field recordings and ‘human noise’ and both make up a fine piece of sustaining sounds, sparsely on the percussive side and all of that feeding through some granular system, it seems. Nice, classic and acousmatic music. On the far, other end of the spectrum, we find a piece like ‘Disconnect’ and ‘Diskonacht’, which is build out of very short trimmed sounds, corks popping and sneezing, people talking and other bits of found sound and causes general mayhem. This too is a form of classical musique concrete and while, no doubt, created using the computer, has a very analogue feel to it. Just a pair of scissors to cut the tape and glue the bits together. Somewhere in between we find ‘Fractures’ which uses the clarinet playing of Rachel Yoder and computer processing – music for instrument and electronics, in the lingo of modern composition and while this is no doubt a fine piece, I guess it’s just the kind of thing I don’t like. Apart from that last piece, I quite enjoyed the rest, even when it wasn’t long altogether. (FdW) »

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