Anne-F Jacques / Ryoko Akama / Takamitsu Ohta | The Magic City
Hasana Editions (CS/DL)
The trio of Anne-F Jacques, Ryoko Akama and Takamitsu Ohta bring something special this month, two lengthy compositions of pure minimal concrete music on location at The Magic City (Todmorden, UK), from the Bandung, Indonesia-based imprint Hasana Editions. They describe it as “An investigation of intermingling whirs and clangs, sometimes soft and tiny, raised from glass bottles, rocks, newspaper, pvc pipes, matches, electronics or dried leaves, begging the listeners to decipher what provoked every incidents.”
As Chris in the magic city opens there are a few slight motions that sound to be made with various objects: sticks, cellophane, masking tape? Their minimal concoction may seem slight at first, but there’s a heck of a lot going on, once you take things down a level or two. There’s is a rather satisfying sound that incorporates much in the way of texture and relief, sounds that have a physicality, a toothy feel to them.
And while they pry and play an interesting juxtaposition occurs in terms of the listening experience — that being no expectation of what’s coming next, rather a sense of wide-eyed anticipation of what may be coming in from left field. This is earthy microsound personified. And while they are engaged the listener may consider change clinking in their pocket/books, or general sounds that come from unwrapping a package or opening a can. But in its layered form there’s a metamophosis of the everyday.
Holly in the city magic is the flipside, and virtually picks up where they left off on this presumably live presentation. The intimacy of these low-rise free-sonics is as if you are right there on the floor with these three avant garde sound sculptors. Plenty of contorted jingling, variable tones and hiss blending nicely in this sensitive way in which they build an arrangement out of teased, flailing crescendos and shallow pockets of detritus and residue, until the gentle croaking in the very last discordant seconds.