PETER ADRIAANSZ: Three Vertical Swells CD Unsounds
Adriaansz coins himself as a lover of “audible mathematics” and someone who devotes himself to sound rather than notes on a page. Considering the nature of this live recording and the compositional qualities needed when working with an ensemble, I found this surprising.
The first half of this release is concentrated on the title track, split into three halves. Part one grates on the nerves, with its high pitch and constant singular piano strikes, but thankfully, part two with its multi-layered tones (swells), eases off the pressure with wave upon wave of drones lightly broken up with percussion. Come part three, all is frantic once more, with the barrage of suspense driven instrumentation, rising into a climatic end.
The latter five tracks on this album are separately titled as ‘Music for Sines, Percussion, Ebows & Variable Ensemble’, and do exactly what they say on the tin, so to speak. I did struggle with this somewhat and there was a lack of cohesiveness to the first four parts to this half of the release; the instrumentation is as professional as ever, but lacks the essential entertainment levels of this albums predecessor. The last track on this album however, utilises its string section appropriately, providing a rich throbbing low-end ambience, which left this release on a high.
Overall, ‘Three Vertical Swells’ is an album that not only provides two halves in its presentation, but also in its range of listening capabilities. The irony is, considering how Adriaansz approaches his composition; ‘TVS’ should be approached more for its technical qualities, rather than outright aural experience.