AMN Reviews: Hashigakari – Eleven Koans [audiotalaia at081]

A well-known part of Zen training, a koan is a usually brief riddle without a logical answer, meant to provoke a moment of insight. Eleven Koans by Hashigakari—the duo of Madrid artists David Area on electronics and Tomás Gris on soprano saxophone and objects—are themselves short, self-contained vessels that convey their own insights into sound at the threshold of consciousness. Each piece contains subtle, short-lived events seemingly mimicking the evanescence of objects in time: The fricative rush of breath; the creaking and clacking of ordinary things when handled; the static hiss, rumble and drone of piqued electronics. The duo’s attention to sonic detail is epitomized by Gris’s occasional sustained tones on soprano saxophone, which draw out the sonic variety—dynamic, microtonal and timbral—lying latent in the heart of a single pitch.

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Daniel Barbiero