Zoë Irvine: Magnetic Migration Music
Yannis Kyriakides and Andy Moor: Rebetika
Charlemagne Palestine: The Golden Mean
The Scotland-based, (currently) downloads-only label Seven Things (short for Seven Things I Daren't Express) is a relatively new enterprise that has already amassed a remarkable body of work including releases by Max Richter, Luc Ferrari, Koji Asano, Peter Dowling, and others. Before purchasing a particular work (many of then live performances), one can download a free seven-minute mp3 from the label's site in order to familiarize oneself with the artist and the work in question. A brief overview of three releases provides a representative impression of the label's provocative material.
Recorded at the Sage Centre, Gateshead UK in May 2005, Charlemagne Palestine's two-piano (one performer) work The Golden Mean inaugurated Seven Things' releases in March 2006. Though Palestine's pieces can last as long as four hours, this one is a thoroughly accessible 36-minute introduction that finds him patiently constructing multi-layered, architectonic clusters of immense weight and force. The intensity level sustained throughout astonishes, with Palestine building chords into massive cathedrals of chiming sound.
Scottish sound artist Zoë Irvine (aided by Mark Vernon) assembles a real-time collage using archived material (collected from Glasgow, Haiti, London, Perth, Paris, Vienna, Croatia, etc.) in a February 2006 live computer performance titled Magnetic Migration Music. Regardless of however spontaneously formed it may have been, the resultant piece easily holds one's attention, as Irvine judiciously weaves opera excerpts, spoken word samples, musical passages (including a roughened-up Abba) into an always-compelling 26-minute whole.Netherlands-based composer Yannis Kyriakides collaborates with The Ex's guitarist Andy Moor for a February 2006 septet of live improvisations issued under the collective title Rebetika. Merging Moor's explorative post-punk deconstructions with dusty vinyl samples and experimental backings that reference traditional Greek music and bluesy lamentations makes for unique and unusual results. Over the course of 45 minutes, the two plunge headlong into episodes of squabbling noise and aurally recreate the final breaths of a dying species in the penultimate piece.