Marcus Schmickler / John Tilbury – VARIETY


Listening to Variety gives you the impression of being suspended between two kinds of fastidiousness, one Tilbury’s intense attention to the piano and its innards, the other the meticulous halogenous resonances and snippets of extraneous voices and electric crackles Schmickler conjures forth from his computer. The music maintains a Feldmanesque aura of resounding interiority throughout, a peculiar dust of harmonics brewed into a torpid infusion of nostalgic dissonance only rarely broken by short telluric outbursts after the half hour mark. Towards the end of the piece Tilbury becomes more extrovert, his chords briefly becoming slightly punchier, more fully inhabiting the mysterious electrostatic world evoked by his companion, but for the most part he tends to privilege angular, irregular patterns and scales in a sort of “enriched minimalism” that prevents the music from breaking free of its slightly repetitive structure. As a result, Variety remains just a tad under the level of excellence, but one looks forward to more collaborations by artists so diverse in their backgrounds yet both driven by a desire to fast-forward music to the next level of evolution.


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