David Rosenboom: Deviant Resonances
Format: COMPACT DISC
McIntosh, Andrew; Powell, Linnea; Knoles, Amy; Walters, Ashley; Tholl, Andrew; Reid, Sarah; Kay, Marja Liisa; Tobin, Micaela; Castillo, David; Rosenboom, David; Sankaran, Trichy
Deviant Resonances carries the concept of “creative listening" into new dimensions. In addition to the unconventional ways in which the everyday listener is called on to interpret the music, composer David Rosenboom literally uses the action of “listening” as an instrument. The first track, Portable Gold and Philosophers’ Stones (Deviant Resonances) (2015), is an epic piece lasting over 35 minutes. Rosenboom achieves a resonant sound by analyzing electrical signals coming from the brains of two imaginative performers. A third performer calibrates a computer system to the responses of what he calls “imaginative listening." This system adapts to the brainwave activity of the first two performers and builds a symphony ranging from quiet beginnings to climaxing crescendos. The resulting sound is simultaneously relaxing and curious. The calming flow of resonance from the brainwaves creates the illusion that time is being slowed down. In this calm, however, one can’t help but wonder at the revolutionary use of brain functions as music and the potentiality of the organ inside each of our heads. The ethereal droning with occasional flaring sparks and pops evokes a timeless, spaceless experience which listeners from anywhere in the world can explore. The album continues with its experimental approach to the reverberation of space using electronics and computer algorithms in tandem with live instruments. Though only half the length of Portable Gold, compositions like The Right Measure of Opposites and Earth Encomium explore the same “nothingness” of space but offer grounding in the physical world through instruments like live piano. The album concludes with The Experiment and Four Lines (String Quartet). They are the only tracks to use voice and strings, respectively. These compositions call on attentive listeners to experience a constant volley between electronic and conventional instruments as they warp time and space, embellish the soundscape, and attempt to achieve a perfect synchrony.