AMN Reviews: Bionular – Theatre Music (Oniron)

Two tragedies, one based on Shakespeare´s tale of Roman class struggle updated to address the politics and media of our young century, the other a “monodrama” by a vicitim of childhood sexual abuse. Bionulor (Sebastian Banaszczyk, himself a professional actor) always stamps his music “100% sound recycling,” in these cases of classical instruments for the former and monologist Sylwia Oksiuta´s voice the latter.

Both albums, separately packed but released as the matching set Theatre Music, appear to feature the entire scores of their respective plays, dozens of cues as short as fifteen seconds each. Coriolanus wavers between dreamlike acoustics and cold, hard data bursts and features a fat, juicy ten-minute drone at its midst. SKAZAna is one-third the length of Coriolanus but about three times as abstract, sounding hermetically tight and secretive, perhaps a fitting soundtrack to a public confession of guilt, assault and shame. A music box theme late in the playing order strikes a poignant chord.

Played at home, Coriolanus succeeds better as a narrative with its thicker, brighter scarlet thread and recurring motifs, though both are served well when simply experineced as light shifting from one panel to the next in a stained glass window.

Stephen Fruitman