AMN Reviews: Jorge Antunes – In Defense of the Machine

Jorge Antunes: In Defense of the Machine [Pogus 21067-2]

Jorge Antunes, a good selection of whose work appears on this latest release from Pogus, is a Brazilian composer known as that country’s earliest explorer of electroacoustic music. Currently president of the Brazilian Society for Electroacoustic Music, Antunes has been composing with electronics since the early 1960s. The compositions collected on this CD cover a good portion of his earlier and later works, spanning the periods 1965-1968 and 1995-2003. What all have in common is an organic, complementary relationship between conventional instruments or compositional elements and electronic sounds.

Among the disc’s highlights are Insubstituivel 2a, Mixolydia and Rituel Violet. Insubstituivel 2a matches prerecorded electronic sounds to a live cello; the recording supplies a slightly off-kilter five-beat ostinato to support cellist Guerra Vicente’s melody line. Mixolydia, written for Russian therminist Lydia Kavina—who performs the piece here—sets a mixolydian melody for the theremin against an intermittently rhythmic backdrop of electronic sounds on tape. Rituel Violet for tenor saxophone and electronics is an example of what Antunes calls chromophonic music, or music composed according to a notion of sound-to-color correspondence. On this piece, Daniel Kientzy’s saxophone inventively draws out the harmonic implications of the sustained tones that make up the electronic background.