Exposé Online banner

Denis Smalley — Sources / Scènes
(Empreintes DIGITALes IMED 0054, 2000, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-11-24

Sources / Scènes Cover art

Denis Smalley is an electroacoustic composer from New Zealand who has spent a year in Olivier Messiaen’s composition class at the Conservatoire de Paris and is currently the Head of the Music Department at the City University of London. Denis has received a number of international awards for his work over the past 25 years. The music on this CD is a collection of four pieces from his long career. "Base Metals," "Empty Vessels," and "Tides" are the realization of the idea that a principal sound source can be the provider of the central material. In "Base Metals" the source was metallic sound sculptures created by the artist Derek Shiel. The result is an ambient sonic journey through the cosmos. The sound sources for "Empty Vessels" are large garden pots from Crete and an olive jar from Turkey. This piece incorporates many other elements (birds, airplanes thunder, and rain) and is akin to Lustmord’s Where the Black Stars Hang. The sonic images of "Tides" are based on the analogies between water and sound. In the first movement, "Pools and Currents," digital scraping, bubbling, and squelching sounds surge with the ebb and flow of the tides. The second movement, "Sea Flight," uses crashing waves of sound. The final piece, "Pentes," brings into play loud bursts of sound, chugging rhythms, slow crescendos of chords, and small alien critters to achieve the sonic equivalent of slopes and inclines. All in all, an interesting release that is fairly accessible for this genre.


Filed under: New releases, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Denis Smalley

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Electrum - Frames of Mind – Here are three guys who love Rush and decided to record an album together of songs influenced by the Canadian trio. It's a scenario I've seen played out over and over (see Afterlife in these...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues