Mutations is the product of the virtual collaboration of sound artists and instrument builders Bryan Day of San Francisco and Jay Kreimer of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Marco Albert, an Italian-born musician now based on Oaxaca, Mexico. The three played together in Queretaro, Mexico, in 2018 at the Festival Internacional de Improvisación y Música Extrema, where they had the idea of continuing to work together via file sharing. For Mutations, each recorded his part at home; Albert provided the final mix.
The six tracks give evidence of the trio’s fine chemistry and obvious compatibility of approaches to sound, as well as the willingness of each to build an uncluttered audio space in which the others can thrive. Consequently, Day and Kriemer’s invented instruments combine with Albert’s electronics and voice to create richly colored environments telling of unlikely sounds: imaginary objects ricocheting off of mirrors amid electronic glisses bringing news of yesterday’s vision of the future. Albert’s voice grounds several of the pieces as he whispers coded messages against a background of kalimba-like, ad hoc percussion and scraped metal, delivers a lecture on modern art and objectification to an increasingly raucous—skeptical?—Greek chorus of noise, or chants over burbling sounds recalling the reaction of baking soda with hot water.