At 72, Roland Kayn’s vision is brighter than ever, the perpetuation of his endangered species of self-regulating music guaranteed by a totally autonomous release schedule which treats us to periodic jewels like this double CD, another compendium of acousmatic / cybernetic emotion whose sound colours dissolve in rarefied nuances of timbral amazement. “Invisible Music” (2003) is a three-movement composition whose whopping 122 minutes stretch over one and a half discs. As usual with Kayn, the malleable “harmony” determined by his unpredictable scores is a polychromatic experience that defies effective description. Translucent orchestral chords are dissected, decomposed and woven together in alternation with parabolic chorales, eliciting long moments of wonder(ing) as sudden poignant appearances of celestial electronic beings and surreal transfigurations lead the listener deep into the twilight zone. There is no time to ask, no way to understand; just accept events as they are, and allow the body to be pervaded by a mystifying sensation of undefined / undefinable knowledge. Camouflaging his sound sources through masterful equalization work contributes greatly to the sense of dislocation, even if some elements are recognizable (notably in the third movement): fragments of organ, brass and strings and, paradoxically, the occasional “easier” melodic line seemingly mocking Rick Wakeman and Vangelis. But not for long. In short, we’re talking “masterpiece” again. In contrast, “Hommage a K.R.H. Sonderborg” (2003) is surprisingly atypical. Starting out with the kind of engrossing string cadenza Michael Nyman would have loved to pillage, it’s an eventful collage of icy wind, looped particles of chamber minimalism and incomprehensible white noise eating away at electronic rhythms until a muffled bell sounds the death knell of any hope you might have had of fathoming out what’s going on. Roland Kayn’s music (I’ve said it before) is like the sun: any child can sketch it but nobody can watch it long enough to fully memorize its actual shape.


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