Text by Barry G Nichols / Level
An exercise in compositional restraint, LEVEL create fractured melodies, and disjointed atmospheres. Fragments of piano chords and shattered rhythms spontaneously cohere for brief moments, and then disappear into the ether to re-form elsewhere within the sound field. Here is a work which defiantly short circuits the listener's expectations. Much of what we perceive to be musical composition is based upon specifically laid down rules of structure, melody and rhythm. On "Cycla", LEVEL take their own original short compositions and splice, fracture, and layer them in order to break these rules, yet still maintain the integrity of the original material. Music here is treated as sculpture, having all the formal elements stripped away, then re-composited until only the original remnants of the original piece remain. On occasion, accidental silences, errors and tonal fusion are enfolded into the work, becoming the site of compostional focus. What we arrive at are beautifully crafted atmospheres which resist easy categorisation, placing LEVEL firmly at the forefront on a new wave of deconstructionist digital minimalism. The LEVEL project, like its sister project, Si_COMM strives to extend the notion of minimalism by fusing the composer's methodology with a visual artist's sensibility, an attempt at breaking old rules and mind-sets, and creating a new space for auditory exploration. The project is influenced by the deconstructionist architects - stemming from the much cited quote from Goethe, who stated that "architecture is frozen music" - when this process is reversed, it becomes the access point for new areas of examination.
released January 3, 2006
De-Composed and Edited By LEVEL, copyright 2004 (B G Nichols)
original digital Photography by Maura Wallace from the "ICE Series", copyright 2005
Special thanks to Nao at SPEKK for supporting the project and giving these recordings a home.
Thanks to: Maura for help, love and support, Andrew Lagowski (S.E.T.I.), Justin & Jo (Cold Spring), Linden & Leighan, Shane Q & the Divine Miss P, Mr Ra, Tariq Hussain, all at 12K/LINE (for inspiration), Mike at TOUCH, Matt at Polymorphic, and everyone who has given me the inspiration to continue all these years. I love you all.
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