AMN Reviews: Sarah Hughes & Kostis Kilymis – The Good Life

Sarah Hughes & Kostis Kilymis: The Good Life [consumer waste]

This 5” CDr by Sarah Hughes (zither) and Kostis Kilymis (no-input mixing board) is made up of two long, absorbing tracks recorded in Oxford, England in early 2012.

Hughes and Kilymis are adept at creating atmospheric drifts of sound within a vast, open frame. Both tracks are characterized by subtle shifts of audio color in which sounds and relative stillnesses foreground each other reciprocally, each making of the other an apt object of attention. In a sense the covert subject of the recording is construction and dissolution of audio gestalts. Hughes’ zither tends to consist of a series of tonal and timbral interventions against Kilymis’ background surf of quiet crackling, breaking the quiet surface into a series of heard ripples which recede in due time. Thus the internal composition of both pieces, traced out in real time, is defined in terms of figure to ground relationships and their reversals.

This nuanced recording, which rewards the close listening it naturally solicits, is the audio equivalent of sparse stains of pigment on an expansive, off-white canvas or of delicately crafted objects scattered deliberately in an otherwise empty room.

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