Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mark Wastell Free Download

Mark Wastell
Vibra # 1
w.m.o/r 14

This release, a CD-R on Mattin's w.m.o/r label, documents Mark Wastell's continued explorations of sonic abstractions. With groups like IST, The Sealed Knot, his trio with Matt Davis and Phil Durrant, and a duo with Mattin, Wastell has expanded his use of cello as dynamic sound source to include what he refers to as 'amplified textures'. Though the scant liner notes for this release describe the 24-minute work as a composition for solo tam-tam dedicated to Roger Sutherland, that doesn't even begin to hint at the haunting shimmers and shadings that Wastell is able to coax from the hand-crafted gong. (As an aside, the gong in question is from Sutherland's own collection.) From the first reverberating waves, the piece pulses with complex layers of metallic overtones. With spectacular control, attack and decay are woven into enveloping, resonating gradations; from low, palpable rumbles to swelling surges of higher-frequency vibrations. It is how these basic elements unfold over time, meted out with an intense focus and control, which makes this such a riveting listening experience. Wastell works with percussionist Eddie Prevost in the group Sakada and this piece brings to mind Prevost's ability to create expansive pieces from a single floor tom. The recording by Graham Halliwell effectively captures the physical nature of the sound, though clearly some of the more subtle overtones of the room are lost. The CD mentions that this is the first in a series of pieces for solo tam-tam and it is a remarkable inauguration of the cycle. Michael Rosenstein (signal to noise)