Triple Point - Phase/Transitions
Electroacoustic improvisation has the potential to be a music of
timbral complexity, of rapid shifts of sound colors within a
multi-layered environment. Throughout this bountiful 3-CD set Triple
Point lives up to that potential, as would be expected from such a fine
assembly of improvisers.
Triple Point is made up of Pauline Oliveros, Jonas Braasch, and Doug
Van Nort. Each has a distinctive voice, but the group’s sound is a
genuinely collective, emergent object in its own right.
Oliveros plays the V-accordion, a virtual instrument that digitally
models the sound of an acoustic accordion while preserving the acoustic
instrument’s physical playability. As might be expected, Oliveros
pushes the instrument beyond its repertoire of standard voices to
extend its timbral range into more distant sonic territories. Braasch’s
soprano saxophone is the one acoustic instrument, a powerfully
serpentine presence darting throughout each piece. Braasch’s use of
extended techniques expands the sound palette of the instrument in ways
appropriate to this color-based music.
But the key to the group’s sound is Van Nort’s real-time granular
modification and electronic playback of the other two musicians’ lines.
He can alter the timbres, pitches and tempos of the V-accordion and
saxophone, inserting microtones into the flow of a line, or gradually
morphing Braasch’s real, and Oliveros’ simulated, reed instruments into
a virtual brass section. Pitches emerge from their encounter with the
electronics the way light emerges from its encounter with a prism—bent
and broken into constituent colors that previously lay hidden. The
extraction and multiplication of tones and timbres makes for a complex
polyphony in which acoustic and electronic lines often coalesce into
thick planes of sound rubbing past, over and through each other.
Several tracks on each disc add Chris Chafe collaborating via internet
on celletto, a MIDI-based electronic cello. Chafe enriches the mix with
electronically enhanced pizzicato and arco tones. - Dan Barbiero, Avant Music News