The Green Kingdom: Laminae
The Land Of

The latest outing by Michigan-based sound artist Michael Cottone under The Green Kingdom name is well-chosen: the term “laminae” (the plural of lamina) refers to layers or plates of botanical (a leaf's blade) or geological (thin layers of sediment or sedimentary rock) character, and the six placid drones constituting Laminae are, appropriately enough, subtly layered pieces whose heavily-processed sounds suggest the open countryside and peaceful pond settings. Droning tones occupy the gently wavering centers while field recordings (footsteps, voices, water, insects) and acoustic sounds (thumb piano, guitar, piano) establish nature and instrumental connections. The component pieces coalesce to form fluid meditations whose meditative percussive flow sometimes exudes a gamelan character. “Late Summer” dots flowing tonal shimmer with glimmering pitter-patter and soft pebbly noises while “Une” conveys the tranquility one experiences lazing by an isolated country stream on a humid August afternoon. A natural complement to the eponymous album Cottone issued on SEM last fall, Laminae is also distinguished by its hand-crafted presentation (a letterpress gatefold cover adorned with silver ink).

September 2008