Tapage & Gareth Davis | STATES
Moving Furniture Records (LP/DL)
Tapage (Tijs Ham) is a composer and researcher from Holland, based in Bergen (Norway). During his long activity he has built a strong aesthetic identity and has been working with the exploitation of chaotic elements in algorithmic composition, to develop responsive and generative systems with a high gradient of unpredictability. During his long experience at STEIM in Amsterdam he had the possibility to further develop his concept and establish important collaborations such as the one with the British clarinet player Gareth Davis, with whom he recorded STATES.
STATES works as a system. The performer interacts with it and establishes a connection with the acoustic sound of the clarinet player, then leaves the system to autonomously find a way to generate a situation of balance and produce its own sounds. When the performer steps back in action, the equilibrium is broken and the system will have to then establish a new interaction to then find another, different balance.
Listening to the three different instances of STATES in the album, they appear very homogeneous. Anyways, even though it is clear that the system works in a similar way for the three pieces and they hold a tight connection to identity, Tijs and Gareth are still able to generate completely different sound realms, demonstrating how this interaction between man and machine is actually more alive than ever.Such a consistent blend of sound is of course also assisted by the superb sound of Gareth’s bass clarinet, that he uses to constantly walk in and out the realm of pitch with a sapient and conscious use of extended techniques, air pressure and corpuscular timbres that match the aseptic quality of all the digital glitches of the electronics. The border between human and machine then blurs, opening the way for many different interpretations and layers of possible listening experiences. This plays with the proximal space of the acoustic sound in contrast with the unreal spatial dimension of the electronics, mixing analog feedback to digital signal processing: to choose or not to choose. The second half of STATES, in my opinion, captures the true essence of this whole operation by introducing a gentle and delicate dialogue inside which everything feels suspended and every reference to reality is frozen and doesn’t really matter.
STATES is available on Bandcamp