AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Cecilia Lopez – Red/Machinic Fantasies [XI Records XI 140]

Sound recordings of multimedia events always present something of a conundrum: although a necessity for documenting the work, they necessarily leave some of it out. It’s a situation brought to mind by Cecelia Lopez’s Red/Machnic Fantasies, a 2-CD set capturing the audio of two mobile sound sculptures/installations by the Buenos Aires composer/electronics artist. Red, which makes up the first disc, is a three-movement, textural feedback piece for contact microphones and speakers embedded in a suspended net made of cables. As the net swings and wobbles, it sets up changing feedback relationships between the microphones and speakers. The second CD contains Machinic Fantasies, a cyclic, pulsating work for electronics and acoustic instruments. The mobile element in this work is provided by two “spinners” who hand-turn two large, perforated drums containing speakers. An array of microphones and speakers is positioned inside and outside the drums. The work’s source material includes recordings as well as live sound from trumpeter Joe Moffett and trombonist Christopher McIntyre. Although the recording does a good job of documenting the audio side of the two pieces, the performance and sculptural aspects of both Red and Machinic Fantasies seem to demand that the two works be experienced live in order to be enjoyed in all of their dimensions.

Daniel Barbiero