RICHARD GLOVER: Logical Harmonies CD Another Timbre


RICHARD GLOVER: Logical Harmonies CD Another Timbre

Glover compiles here a number of artists onto CD as solo works and ensembles, with all the work composed by Richard himself. It’s an interesting medium for me as a listener whose own collection is made up entirely of artists performing their own music.

As a whole there is a feeling that nothing generally gels together as a whole concept for an album. Musically disjointed, the opening piano of Philip Thomas feels cut short before the clarinet of Mark Bradley, Mira Benjamin and Andrea Stewart fill out some space with an off-key ensemble of drones from their instrument of choice; and I hate to admit that the end result set my teeth on edge as much as nails scraping down a blackboard.

If truth-be-told the problem here most likely lies in the composition. The musicians I have no issue with (other than pandering to Glovers’ recording) as I am sure they’re accomplished enough in their own right. I have come across many albums of this ilk in the past and I simply cannot imagine anyone sitting down to play this at home on record.   As a backdrop to another medium such as an art installation or other visual aid, then ‘Logical Harmonies’ I am sure, would work well; unfortunately I feel in this environment it becomes an object of one individual’s vanity.



BRYN HARRISON: Vessels CD Another Timbre


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.