Tuesday, 1 April 2008

'in drawing' (cherry music) review

‘In drawing’ (cherry music – cherry001)

The word ‘small’ is one I like. For me I always think of something subtle, with shape and a pleasing form that can be held in some way. Of course it can mean ‘without substance’ but in terms of music, for me it is a word to be used to convey an piece that fits, that we can take in and does not involve force. Music that communicates without unnecessary elements.

The label’ Cherry music’ is a small label….one that aims for a creative balance between the music on the disc and the physical object itself. ‘In drawing’ is the labels first non cd-r release and it features unprocessed field recordings by 6 artists who clearly find the music and sound in their everyday life is something to be treated with an enjoyable respect.

What makes this cd stand out from the countless other collections of field recordings available is that the choices made by the artist remain, for the large part, inspired by the simple joy of discovery. It is a very fine line between a recording that celebrates the sound itself and one that exists to illustrate an artist’s theoretical outlook.

The pieces on ‘In drawing’ are all very different of course. Some contain gentle hums from air conditioners as in the piece by Asuna, the sounds of café music and crockery that feature in ‘La grande illusion’ by Yasuo Totsuka, the water and wind around ‘Isla Genovesa’ captured by Chris Watson or (and I’m guessing here) the effects of placing a microphone inside a hollow metal tube on the opening track by Justino (ruidobello). Only the track by Takahiro Kawaguchi ruffles your ears slightly with animal sounds that are strange and somewhat daunting.
Then there’s the track by Ami Yoshida’s who adds to our understanding of her artistic outlook by contributing the quietest piece on this cd. For an artist who is known for her ability to raise the smallest sound into something of amplified detail, her recording is simply impossible to represent in mere words. For me that is the sign of truly inspired and authentic field recordings. If these sounds could be captured in a written language there would be less point in listening to them and sometimes we should put aside our human need for things to have an explanation and simply let them be what they are. The temptation with all of these pieces is to listen in order to try to work out what made these sounds. Do yourself and the artists a favour and resist that temptation because you might end up missing the essence of these pieces.

As someone who has also been recording natural music / sound for many years I can honestly say that Cherry music have approached the concept of field recording in a way that any artist would find a rewarding experience.

All of the pieces on this highly recommended disc should be simply allowed to be what they are: fascinating, rewarding, subtle and therefore powerful pieces of natural music.

review by Jez riley French

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