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Boomkat Product Review:
One for insatiable avant drum nuts; a hypnotic durational workout revolving 6 percussionists, composed by S.E.M. Ensemble founder and artistic director Petr Kotik.
Leading on from the rhythmic fascinations of John McGuire’s ‘Pulse Music’ on the brilliant Unseen Worlds, ‘The Plains at Gordium’ presents Talujon Percussion Ensemble’s recording of Kotik’s 2004 minimalist, chance composition. Originally commissioned by and written for Czech Group DAMA-DAMA, whose four members could not perform it, due to being made for 6 players, the piece stems from a group of compositions that Kotik started in 1971, all hingeing around a steady pulse, but conceived to be played both as independent pieces and also mixed in collage-like performance. However, ‘The Plains At Gordium’ differs in that it encourages its performers to “sometimes take off, doubling in tempo”, and also adds bells to the mix, lending a more lively effervescence at times.
The 54 minute piece spools as a focussed exercise in rhythmelodic cadence, with nothing more than its tuned percussion playing out rippling permutations of pattern and their subtle echoic contrails.