Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ricardo Arias, Miguel Frasconi, Keiko Uenishi: Object

Another from Eh?(41) - this time a live recording by the trio of Ricardo Arias, Miguel Frasconi, Keiko Uenishi from the NY Sculpture Centre in 2004. Object presents the concert/work by the unusual trio: Ricardo on balloons, Frasconi glass objects and Uenishi computer. The photo (a similar one is on the cover) is from Frasconi's blog/site well weathered music and I have made it larger than usual so that you get an idea of the set-up.

The balloon kit allows for soft and hard rubbing on the balloons, which would appear to be close miked, squeaking and groaning, stretching, more gentle sensitive sounds and percussive soft thuds. In his glass kit Frasconi rubs glasses, jangles them, strikes like a bell, blow over openings to resonate, chiming; and the laptop slowly reveals itself, sometimes subtle hums and buzzes, undertones and through tones and possibly some processing but not sure.

The structure of the album is terrific and allows you to understand the different components. The concert was divided into trio/solo/duo/solo/trio/duo/solo/duo/trio - which means each player gets a solo which explains the individual sounds, the three possible duos get an outing and the three trios explore the full extent - the final one is an extended conclusion to the album. You can imagine what it might sound like, the reality is even more impressive.

And so throughout the 50 minutes we hear a range of sound combinations and moods - there are loud passages, more restrained sections, subtlety and roars. The prime mood is of delicacy, introspection and exploration, but with periods of excitement and denser movement. Overall beautifully balanced and fascinating.

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