lunedì 2 maggio 2011
Olivia Block - "Mobius Fuse"
Chicagoan Olivia Block made her debut on Sedimental with Pure Gaze in 1999. This sequel, assembled over the course of five years, starting in December 1997, is a similarly meditative and surprising 30 minute mix of environmental sounds, unobtrusive electronic enhancements and precisely placed instrumental passages. Like Luc Ferrari, Block knows how to draw seductive music from the blending of such elements, making creative interventions in the natural world, casting enigmatic shadows across familiar ground. Both releases are effectively self-portraits, showing Block caught up in a Moebius Loop of listening and composing, discovering and deliberating. She acts as a gateway for the found sounds of indoor and outdoor spaces, birds and insects, crackling ice, fire, and wind buffeting the microphone, which are captured and relocated. Once caught suggestively between raw and processed states, their identity is complicated. Block uses silence effectively, it oozes in and out of the predominately quiet sounds that form the music. Her electronic interventions merge with the field recordings, and often the two become indistinguishable. The carefully organized sounds of the wind quintet, including Jeb Bishop on trombone, carry associations of a social world, and although initially droning on the borders of the electronic zone, the group are ultimately heard playing a slow, dignified tune, saturated with communal values and counterpointed against a firework display that Charles Ives would surely have appreciated. At which point it seems appropriate to press “play” and light out for the territory once more.