Tim Risher & Claus Gahrn, Musical Sculptures

Part of me wonders if I would get more out of the pieces on this CD if I could see the virtual works of art they were created to accompany, or to experience them in their intended setting. The concept behind the CD interests me, because I’m intrigued by the symbiosis that occurs when music is made to accompany art and vice-versa. The work on Musical Sculptures was originally meant to be heard in tandem with viewing works of virtual art in the online game/community Second Life. Loops and silence were set in motion in varying forms by Tim Risher and Claus Gahrn, the elements crafted to evolve and reshape as they moved forward. As with any stroll through a museum, within the diversity of styles there’s a mix of interesting, less interesting and huh? (For me, that would be the abstract tangle that is “Windhorse.”) Luckily, most works here don’t fall into the huh? category, although my own level of interest varied greatly. I found myself truly paying attention first to the glimmering, Structures From Silence-like movement of “Silver Mist,” a delicate piece that floats in a high register.  “Scrap Metal I” belies its industrial-strength name by offering an enveloping blend of wayward noises, a melody stretched and twisted through a wormhole and malleable drones that carry a warm feel. Dark, never quite alienating, but absolutely commanding attention. And listening to “Autumn Atmospheres” is like watching water bubbles rise in slow motion, amorphous, dancing blobs of sound that warble and wobble in endless succession. The remainder moved through my headspace largely at the periphery of attention–not engaging enough to make me listen closely, but also not so far afield or off-kilter that I hurried to push the “next” button. All in all, Musical Sculptures is definitely worth a listen, as the variation in style is bound to please many listeners. For me, some tracks are just notably stronger than others. Check out the samples and take your own tour of Risher & Gahrn’s sonic gallery.

Available from Auraltone; samples at CD Baby.

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