Music Reviews

cover
Artist: Andrew Lewis (@)
Title: Au-delà
Format: CD
Label: empreintes DIGITALes (@)
Rated: *****
"Au-dela'" (French expression for "beyond") is a collection of six amazing acousmatic compositions that got created between 1990 and 2012 by North Wales-based composer Andrew Lewis, one of the original members of BEAST (in spite of the hallucinatory and somehow mesmeric nuances of some stuff by Andrew, it's not a satanist group, but it's the acronym for Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre), professor and director of the Electroacoustic Music Studios at the University of Wales Bangor, where he also directs Electroacoustic WALES, a group of composers (mainly former students) which tries to "promote and encourage the creation and dissemination of electroacoustic music within Wales and beyond. Lovers of the genre, but also newbies, are going to explain the amount of prizes and awards that Andrew gained after listening to this collection by putting his outlandish integration between a rich paraphernalia of acousmatics and a set of interesting concepts forward and such a sonic "strategy" since the initial track "Lexicon" which renders dyslexia by let rappeling the words of a poem by Tom, a 12 years old bot, into a pit of meaningful noises where Tom himelf seems to appear like a ghost in the cloud of voices which repeat lines of the poem ("Word is my prolem", "Words are like lifes/lies" - or maybe flies as some buzzing flies which resound after 8 minutes could let you surmise -, "a page is like a map I try to find my way around" and so on...). You'll get astonished by the bunch of harmonics that Andrew Lewis manages to extract from the sound of breaking glasses on "Dark Glass" as well as by his odd way of reinventing Wales' sonic culture on "Can" (Welsh for "song"). The oldest compositions of this collection are quite surprising as well: he translated the mountainous landscape around Bangor University studios into a mysterious sonic adventure on "Ascent", he turns many sonic entities into ephemeral being on "Time and Fire", which sounds like a treatise about transience, while the funnily disquieting "Scherzo" could let you revive childhood by a mesmerizing and swirling whirlwind of sonic clues.



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