BRYN HARRISON: Vessels CD Another Timbre
Recorded in one single take is an extended manipulation of one long recording of a 22-minute piano piece that was premiered by Philip Thomas at the Firth Hall in Sheffield in October 2012. Harrison has created this album from Thomas’ work and constructed a 77-minute album by effectively stitching together pitches from the original recording.
Whilst I understand the art in piecing this together like an audible jigsaw and commend to a certain degree the effort in micro-repetition, I also struggle with the justification of this as a release. As a listening experience, whilst Thomas obviously knows how to play, there is little eagerness to see this album through to the end, due to its lifeless monotony.
Harrison was inspired to create this after witnessing ‘Tendrils’, by Howard Skempton’s string quartet. Whilst sound manipulation is a good thing and credit is deserved when someone attempts to sculpt in such a manner; I feel this medium is sometimes best suited to installations and the classroom, as opposed to hard media, where the music lover in me feels it lacks any viability.