Herbal

Listing the sound sources, which include buffalo frogs, forest birds and a temple ceremony besides other glimpses of reality, gives you the wrong impression regarding Nuit. This is acousmatic music with added elements of improvisation. Murayama’s disconcerting vocal expressions are complemented by his evenhanded percussiveness (except in the concluding movement, which sounds like a fragmentation of Nick Mason’s interminable rolls in “A Saucerful Of Secrets”), while Cordier’s processing attempts to dislocate our expectations, and at times succeeds. The album’s significance resides in its refusal to adopt the “let-the-nightingale-do-the-work” strategy; acoustic designs are deprived of emblematic façades, and there’s poetry – and irony – in the curled grunts of those frogs, not to mention the instant cessation of activity when a bird starts singing at one point. And the human constituent is never invasive. Considering that the performance plan includes games of light, shadow theatre and fire painting – visual elements that might better justify the few segments that don’t excite in a strictly musical sense – this is a solid enough release, questionable finale notwithstanding.

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