Athenian composer Michalis Moschoustis works around tip-of-tongue timbral minimalism and teasing tones that naturally beckon a deeper listen on his sterling debut for Room 40 - RIYL Bellows, Félicia Atkinson, Ben Bondy
His most prominent release to date ‘Classical Mechanics’ is quietly nuanced and modestly absorbing introduction to Moschoustis’ work, which is presented as evidence of ongoing works both compositional, musical, and in organising and fostering electro-acoustic music in Greece. He aims to present the music as honest documentation of actions/reactions in a sort of homage to the humour and pathos of his early influence, artist Roman Signer, and his absurd but quasi-scientific artwork.
The result is four tracks that get under the skin thanks to a preternatural sensitive attention to detail and ability to not so much transport, as centre us in the moment, giving us a lowkey chuckle at how he offsets the ostensibly calming guitar strokes of ‘Archery’ with a buzzing mosquito, or lures us into the sweetest hypnagogic states with the keening tunings of ’Soft Tissue’, before plunging us somewhere hellishly other, and into pastoral scenes on ‘Sounio’ with the trippiest, liminal grasp of poetic/prosaic subtlety.
From the artist: “I perceive all of the following sounds simply as movements that have resonated within me over the past few years; the touch of contact microphones on various surfaces, vibrating strings loosened to the extend they no longer produce audible tones, myself swimming in the sea, the underwater crackling of shrimps, Thalia Ioannidou's heavy breathing, Ingi Garðar Erlendsson's solo thranophone performance in Reykjavík in 2014, oscillating springs, rotating cymbals, subtle movements of tuning pegs and knobs, scrubbing of piano strings, Sofia Labropoulou playing with the mandals of her qanun, pressing keys, patting strings, moving pedals and knee levers of a pedal steel guitar, Ilan Manouach's close-miked soprano saxophone and soft mouth sounds.
With Classical Mechanics I invite the listener to an intimate space I find as immersive as a large venue resonating to the throbbing frequencies of a full-range PA.”