Sonic Vigil Review

A limited CD box-set has been issued by Sonic Vigil. It is reviewed here for Vital Weekly by Frans de Waard:

Its sunday, around noon. The only thing on my desk to review today is ‘Sonic Vigil 4′, a four CDR set by Gruenrekorder, who curated this as an event (together with the Quiet Club and Soundeye) in Cork, Ireland. Much like what I am doing – sitting back and listen to roughly five hours of music – is what happened on that day at the St. Fin Barre’s cathedral in Cork. Well, ok, that was even an hour longer than this. Fourteen artists here, of which Christene Wertheim brings a six minute and Jaap Blonk a thirty three minute, but all the others are around fifteen to twenty minutes in length (no doubt there has been some editing). Everything that Gruenrekorder stands for passes here: field recordings, improvisation, electronic music – the third disc has a somewhat boring piece by Female Orphan Asylum – and sound poetry. The field recordings are usually ‘hidden’ in electronic processed pieces, so there are hardly any ‘pure’ field recording pieces. We come across various names from the label
that we already know, such as Suspicion Breeds Confidence, Roland Etzin, Angus Carlyle but also new names such as Tony Langlois (with a nice piece of spoken words and crazy fucked up sounds), Francis Heery, Olivier Nijs, Safe and Jerome Rothenberg. The latter is to be found on the fourth disc, which is the only one, so it seems, that is based in one musical field, that of sound poetry, together with Christene Wertheim and Jaap Blonk. This is heavy on the dada- connection. Rothenberg performs a whole bunch of Tzara and Schwitters et al pieces along with some electronics. Blonk shows no need for electronics, and has some more abstract pieces of his own here. The undisputed master of sound poetry. Placed at the end, means listening at the end, and that is no easy task after almost four hours of experimental music. At the end of a sunday afternoon, one is tired, but satisfied. The quality varied of course, but throughout a fine collection. It must have been a fine day over there in Cork.


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