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The Silverman — Blank for Your Own Message
(Beta-lactam Ring mt208, 2008, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2009-07-01

Blank for Your Own Message Cover artThe secondary title for this release is “A Zen Opera in Seven Parts,” and I will set aside any questions about the appropriateness of the Buddhist reference. If you really want to call it an opera, it’s the only opera I know that has no words and no singers. It is in fact a set of audio collages of varying degrees of musicality. There are long passages of toneless sound that are equivalent to electronic ambient music of the most abstract sort. There are other passages where a kind of rhythmic energy develops – in fact the first track sets this up with a brief rhythmic motif before devolving into found sounds and indistinct loops, with subtle reappearances of variations on the opening motif. And while it is true that there are no melodies or the trappings of conventional composition, the experience is never grating. There are no outbursts of irritating noise, no shocks, just a wandering flow of sounds. And it doesn’t overstay its welcome, either, clocking in around the 40 minute mark. Rather than thinking about it too much, you need to close your eyes, open your ears, and let the sounds permeate your consciousness, bringing up abstract images, a DIY inner light show. And for that it is elegantly suited, if not for close musical analysis of the traditional sort.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 37, 2008 releases

Related artist(s): The Silverman (Phil Knight)

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