Christopher Hipgrave: Slow, With Pages of Fluttering Interference
Low Point

Christopher Hipgrave's third album, Slow, With Pages Of Fluttering Interference, sequences seventeen connected sections into three untitled parts for forty-two minutes. Using a minimum of sound sources (none of them identified), the UK composer and sound designer creates a transporting and oft-beautiful reverie of synthetic textures, tones, and murmur that can be experienced equally well as a shape-shifting whole or as distinct vignettes.

The first part blossoms radiantly, with gossamer trails morphing into bright tones that sparkle like sunlit reflections on a placid country lake and shimmering swirl that conveys a sense of breath exhaling. After an ever-so-slight pause, the second part begins, with its masses slightly more muffled and hazy in comparison to the organ-like tones of the first part. In “Often Into Dream,”  symphonic surges accompany near-subliminal showers of crackle (one of the album's pieces is even titled “Soft Static”), after which organ tones reappear along with fluttering ripples (“Shifting Uncertainties”) and episodes of crystalline ebb and flow (“Strange Attractor”) and angelic murmurs (“Heavy and Pulling You”). A slightly longer pause separates the second and third parts, which allows the residue of the second's material to fully disappear before the symphonic elegance of the aptly titled “Bright and Fluid as Mercury” arrives. What's it ‘about'? There's no programmatic content mentioned in the accompanying material, nor, naturally, does the music itself suggest any real-world connection. The question's irrelevant, however. Slow, With Pages Of Fluttering Interference is simply abstract sound material heard in its pure form and unsullied by associations.

July 2010