Two recent releases of electronic music supply dreamscapes for autumn’s beginning.
On Borderland, UK cellist and sound designer Simon McCorry offers floating, resonant music suggestive of expansive spaces and deep perspectives. McCorry’s sound consists in slowly changing harmonies of layered tones that create a subdued, dramatic tension by moving toward and away from each other. The tracks are crafted from looped and treated cello and field recordings, with the cornet of Harry Furniss appearing on the densely dissonant Awakening.
Fabio Orsi is an electronic artist from Taranto in Puglia, Italy. His release on Berlin’s Oltrarno Recordings is a collection of soundscapes with a decidedly retro shading. The three tracks on Each Day Moon Tide were recorded live and built up out of looped cells undergirded with electronic rhythms; while they recall some of the classic electronic recordings of the 1970s and 1980s, they manage to retain a particular sound of their own.
With Blue, cellist Simon McCorry offers a kind of hypnotic chance music built up through the asynchronic layering of chord tones, interpolated pitches, and melodic fragments. On five of the nine tracks McCorry, who’s from Stroud, Gloucestershire in the UK, plays cello fed through looping devices and effects pedals; alternating between these performances are four electronic compositions constructed of manipulated recordings of the bells of Gloucester Cathedral.
On a number of the pieces, McCorry works a foundation of overlapping prolonged tones whose variable periodicities weave a gently rocking texture of real or implied harmonic movement. Forest, for example, begins as a drone but transitions to an alternating pair of chords over which McCurry plays an expansively serene melody. Similarly, the undulating, major-key harmonies of Light & Water anchor a refracted pentatonic melody liable to provoke a reverie in the listener. Invocation II is more unsettled harmonically and, in contrast to Light & Water, features a darker, slowly-paced polyphony in a minor mode. The abstract, metallic shimmering of the compositions for recorded bells provide an effective atmospheric offset to the cello pieces’ inherent melodiousness.