Boomkat Product Review:
’Sileen II’ is a gently radiant, minimalist drone work for electronics and bass clarinet, performed by Gareth Davis and written by Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) - marking his first release with Edition Wandelweiser after scores of releases over the past 15 years.
Originally commissioned as a work for 50 members of a local music school in Belgium, 2016, early performances of ‘Sileen’ were chaotic and challenging to the extent that one of the horn players fainted during rehearsals. Zuydervelt later decided to return to the piece in the studio, and came out with ’Sileen II’, a much reduced and more intimate version using Gareth’s clarinet and some electronics for colour. This was subsequently slowed by 50%, in the process revealing a wash of gently overlapping tones and their glacial, airborne harmonic relationships.
Through the relatively simple gesture of slowing down the music, Zuydervelt in effect opens it out, providing more time and space to be absorbed by its floating tone clusters and beating frequencies, revealing hitherto unheard worlds within worlds in a way that could be taken as metaphor for the everyday - if our lives didn’t demand it, wouldn’t it be great if we could all slow down and take life at half pace, just imagine what you would notice and how much objective perceptions may change. In effect, Zuydervelt’s offering the chance to do just that with ’Sileen II’.