Matthew Burtner

Matthew Burtner

Portals of Distortion

Innova/American Composer’s Forum

I find this music very relaxing, almost as relaxing as the little white pills I get twice a day or I lose my TV privileges. Burtner subtitles this album “Music for Saxophones, Computers and Stones,” and he delivers the goods. The title track, containing nine tenor saxophones, buzzes along like a disturbed hornet’s nest for about two minutes, after which loud expletives reminiscent of a foghorn make an appearance. “Misfits” (computer noise controller and stone trio) places a fifth-generation hiss amidst a gamelan of stones cascading like raindrops off the porch when the storm’s done. “Glass Phase,” featuring computer polyrhythmicon and electronics, sounds like guests nervously clinking their drinks while you’re sweating to get the home theater system to stop putting out that high-pitched whine.

Some music skirts the line between signal and noise, but this sits squarely in the noise camp. Still, it’s undeniably fascinating noise.

American Composer’s Forum, 332 Minnesota Street, E-145, Saint Paul, MN 55101

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