Chris Brown – TALKING DRUM


A student of Gordon Mumma, William Brooks and David Rosenboom, Chicagoan Chris Brown is an active electronic composer and improviser, and an important figure in installations and computer music networking. This particular project, released on Al Margolis’ Pogus imprint, one of the most uncompromising new music labels, reflects all the basic aspects of his work. Taking sounds from several locations (Bali, Philippines, Cuba, Holland, Hawaii and several American cities) recorded through binaural microphones attached to his sunglasses to obtain a spatialization more or less impossible to reproduce in a studio, Brown organized his field recordings on a system of four laptops interacting with live musicians, including Wadada Leo Smith, William Winant and David Gibson. The laptop network reproduces these recordings in different ways according to the performance of the “acoustic” musicians, the process splintering the music into a series of interchangeable cells, a “free-regulation-far-from-chaos” kind of result that elicits dense conversation and textural architecture. It’s what could really be called “world music”, in which Balinese processions, Cuban dance rhythms and the chatter of Filipino markets mix with seabirds and instruments in a cavalcade of connections and clashes that keeps notching up our attention span throughout.


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