Simon James Phillips: Chair (Room40, 2013)

January 12, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Simon James Phillips: Chair

Simon James Phillips: Chair

Minimalist solo piano works. The pieces are extremely simple and repetitive, usually consisting of just a few notes, but the recording environment (a church in Berlin) and the sustain and delay transforms them into something that blurs time and space. “Set Ikon Set Remit” starts off with just 2 notes, and gradually clusters more, ending up as a thick wall of sustained piano that becomes too blurry to discern individual notes. “Ellipsis”, “The Voice Imitator” and “Poul” do similar tactics, fluttering and swelling and becoming thick audio fog, although “Ellipsis” and “The Voice Imitator” sound a bit less treated and more human. “Posture”, “9er On/Off Switch” and “Moth to Taper” are slower-moving, focusing on individual notes moving at a glacial pace. The more flurry-like pieces tend to work best to these ears, the slower ones can seem kind of awkward.

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