Boomkat Product Review:
Featuring Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Sarah Davachi, Felicia Atkinson, John Also Bennett, Christina Vantzou, Kelly Moran, Mary Lattimore, Machinefabriek, Eluvium, Taylor Deupree, Noveller, Chihei Hatakeyama and Ben Lukas Boysen in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and Grammy-nominated artist and musician Stuart Hyatt, all working with echolocations of bats as compositional source material.
The results can more or less be split in two, some of the personnel involved finding intriguing and inspirational pathways, while others opt for a more obvious and overly emotive reading of the brief. You can probably already guess who does what.
The good stuff; Christina Vantzou's remarkable "Music for a room with vaulted ceiling” slowly turns the source material into an elegiac rendering of choral vox mimicking bats captured in flight, Félicia Atkinson’s 'Night vision, it touched my neck’ draws on the very essence of the sound itself, where webbed wings become quietly amplified via a mesmerising use of spatial arrangement, and Sarah Davachi distils nature into a distant drone where echolocation and organ sounds coalesce to stunning effect. Elsewhere, John Also Bennett follows an astral path to cosmic sounds on "Indiana Blindfold", while Noveller gives it all some heft with a more menacing, gothic interpretation of "A Place Both Wonderful and Strange”.
There’s definitely some schmaltz thrown in too, you know - overly emotional advert music, but thankfully that’s kept to a minimum, making this an intriguing and worthwhile project.