AMN Reviews: Duane Pitre – Omniscient Voices [Important Records]

Pianist/composer Duane Pitre’s Omniscient Voices for justly tuned piano and electronics is a paradoxical album: a collection of music both lushly seductive and subtly disquieting all at once. For this set of five short-to-medium length pieces, Pitre composed piano motifs, largely consisting of brief phrases blending into chords, and used them as input for a generative computer program to convert them in real time into microtonal electronic sounds. The piano parts have a minimal quality to them—they’re enunciated as pitch-limited, discrete events allowed to decay gradually—whereas the electronics have a broader orchestral sweep and a more pronounced rhythmic continuity. The harmonies are euphonic and warmly enveloping, but the just tuning lends them a slightly off-kilter quality that shows up as a hint of sourness around the edges.

Daniel Barbiero