Boomkat Product Review:
Elemental, experimental brilliance from the peerless Annea Lockwood, venturing two major new compositions attentively performed by Nate Wooley and Yarn/Wire
A leading pioneer of radical experimental music for over 50 years, Annea Lockwood is a legendary artist whose sound sensitive approach lies at the threshold of musical perception. Following the compilation/reissue of her seminal ’70s piece ’Tiger Balm’ (and two new works) by Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle in 2017, Annea’s 2nd release for the label offers two quietly stunning new works written between 2018/19 that return us to a familiar yet deeply otherworldly plane of sound exploration with a gripping exposition of sonic fundamentals made musical by her focussed, intuitive approach and dilated purview.
‘Becoming Air’ (2018) was developed with and performed by trumpeter Nate Wolley, who is pushed to the limits of his instrument by “a desire for ‘letting go of the sound to be itself’.” In fractured gasps and tip of tongue sounds at the periphery of audibility, the piece appears to unfold in and out of consciousness on the first section, before fixing into skull scrape, textured drones in the middle, and ultimately unleashing excoriating distortion in the final third with ruthless volume recalling the shuddering effects of Robert Ashley’s Wolfman.
‘Into The Vanishing Point’ (2019) follows in this vein of instrumental tactility by instructions to “explore their ‘feelings about what is happening ecologically’.” A collaborative work hatched with and performed by New York piano and percussion quartet Yarn/Wire, it takes the global warning of insect colony collapse as the cue for a far more low-key, tense and sprawling work populated with buzzing sonorities and flightier expressions that reflect the subject matter with a mixture of obliqueness and suggestive sensitivity that effortlessly and hauntingly weave us into its textures and insectoid rhythms.