Boomkat Product Review:
Jan Jelinek shifts into sound college mode for 'The Raw and the Cooked', alchemically processing the sound of material as it changes form. Lifted concrete music that's like Luc Ferrari or Bernard Parmigiani thrown into an anti-gravity chamber...
An album version of a radio piece Jelinek composed for German state broadcaster SWR2, 'The Raw and the Cooked' explores the nature of sound, using its flexibility to illustrate the mutability of raw material. Using recordings of artists Thomas & Renée Rapedius working with paper and metal objects and Peter Granser ritually preparing Japanese tea, Jelinek reflects the processes we take for granted - a solid's transformation into liquid and gas, for example - in his complex compositions. So careful, microscopically accurate recordings are changed quite literally as we listen, or twinned with synthetic sounds that mirror the real-world processes taking place.
It's not exactly a play, but Jelinek's radio experiment has a narrative that expresses the work of the artist, the craftsperson and the human seeking to feed oneself in the same breath. These rituals have been obscured over the centuries, and Jelinek focuses them and dissolves them into meditative tonal poems, with scraping and buzzing reminders of casual daily life juxtaposed with sci-fi wails and harsh edits.
'The Raw and the Cooked' is an absorbing use of GRM/musique concrète concepts and ideas that builds on the foundations of early innovators like Iannis Xenakis (there's the flavor of 'Concret PH' in 'The Raw and The Cooked (II)'), Pierre Henri and Luc Ferrari, shuttling it firmly into the 21st century.