AMN Reviews: Chantal Michelle – Pulse, Puls​-​ar, Procession (2022; Dinzu Artefacts)

Pulse, Puls​-​ar, Procession is a single 24-minute track of field recordings, violin, sax, and electronics. It is centered around quiet, wafting atmospherics generated from manipulation of the field recordings. This is apparent at its outset, with a sax drone merging into recordings of running and sloshing water accompanied by hazy static. Michelle employs loops and feedback to carefully guide these noises into musical adjuncts of the violin and sax, as those instruments produce long-held notes. As the piece progresses, sparse found object percussion is introduced along with fluttering and oscillating sculpted sounds. The latter evolve into rapid shimmering, while the instrumental droning takes on a softly grinding character.

The feel of this composition is on the darker side, though it stops far short of horror movie material. Nonetheless, what stands out is Michelle’s dedication to craftmanship and her art. Pulse, Puls​-​ar, Procession comes across as a carefully arranged statement that is gritty and yet full of distinct textures. Well done, indeed.