Music Reviews

Khristian Weeks & John Latartara

With For Intoned

Sachimay

With For Intoned is the work of two composers with an active conception of time and space, and who manipulate them to subtle, yet poignant effect. This CD has two compositions by each of the composers along with a collaborative piece between the two.

“Layers of Manipulation” is a solo work by Khristian Weeks for piano and tape. Soft chords float gently through the air before being interrupted by dissonant clusters. There doesn’t seem to be a linear thread to the notes here, they emerge by their own volition and quickly retreat. At first listen this approach seems disjointed with the notes ducking and retreating behind each other, but future listens allow the listener to grasp larger, more abstract structures. “False People” is a string quintet by John Latartara. The droning of the violins set up a bed upon which the cello slowly moves. The roles switch numerous times in the piece, out of which emerges a careful, contemplative sort of beauty. “Interactions” is a mix of two concert installations featuring somewhat large ensembles. They complement each other very well, and the sonic density never gets uncomfortably large. About two minutes into the piece, an uncredited voice starts to read what seems to me to excerpts from Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. Another voice emerges reading another text, while the first person continues to read. I’m sure there is something very deep and conceptual about this, and I am equally sure that I’ve missed it. “Concentric 11” is a quartet for flute, viola, guitar and singing bowl. The singing bowl anchors the piece while the other 3 players either support it or play off of it. This is the most subdued track on the disc, and the most interesting because it never seems to go anywhere, it just meanders to and fro and so avoids the forcefulness of a lot of composed music. The last piece on the CD, “Visceral Music” is similar to the first in that it is a solo instrument (electric bass) augmented with tape manipulation. It works in a similar way to the first as well, with the notes constantly interrupting and bumping into each other. The flow is less implied here though with the notes following a more “logical” order.

Khristian Weeks and John Latartara are capable of constructing contrasting and varied work. It is this variation that makes this CD so diverse and therefore worth owning.

Sachimay Records, 26-04 12th Street, 2nd Floor, Astoria, NY 11102; http://www.sachimayrecords.com


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