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Graham Lambkin, Taku Unami

The Whistler (2CD)

Label: Erstwhile Records

Format: CDx2

Genre: Electronic

Out of stock

A year ago, Graham Lambkin continued the ErstSolo series with "Community" (in conjunction with Keith Rowe's quadruple "testament"), while the even more prolific Taku Unami appeared in duo with Devin DiSanto on the live performance recorded at the Fridman Gallery in New York in 2015. The material reworked for "The Whistler" comes from two days of field recordings in gardens, streets and parks adjacent to St. Peter's Cemetery in Poughkeepsie, New York, as well as some recordings made by Lambkin at home with his children. The only (un)useful listening clues are found in two short texts by the authors, one consisting of scarce, diary-like notes on the encounter between the two, the other one in the form of poetry in prose dedicated to the whistler as a foreign character, the putative cause for the failure of their experiment. Met Taku from taxi - he arrived with a paper bag containing eight long black seed pods, a ball of twine and a sachet of tea as a house gift. I had less. In the depth of the night, the whistler appeared somewhere in upstate New York. their supernatural mastery afforded them the witchcraft necessary to keep balance in the world, but had no use for spells or magic wand twirls; the whistler needed only to whistle to conjure their magic.

Simplifying, we could consider these extracts as a reflection of their personal angle on reality: Lambkin generally reproduces it more faithfully while preserving the concreteness and familiarity of sounds, although the effect of his collages and acoustic modifications is somewhat close to the impossible perspectives of Cubist painters; Unami maintains a bond with the Japanese aesthetic of the onkyokei by means of minimal or nil gestures, making himself continually visible and invisible in a space, be it ideal/artificial ("Teatro Assente" with Takahiro Kawaguchi) or natural (as in this case or in "Parazoan Mapping" with Éric La Casa). From similar sources, two works were created on separate CDs: in Graham's words, his "Small Mistakes In Nature" is “full of exaggeration and cruel humor”, while in "Whistler Vanished In Wind" Taku “politely erases [both] from the landscape - as the segmented artwork suggests.

Other than this we’ll find what Lawrence English calls "relational listening": the attempt to transmit an individual auditory experience by reconstructing it according to free associations and personal preferences. The Lambkin/Unami duo is yet another experiment played on the apparently autonomous existence of sound, even when derived from or directly attributable to an external agent; it is also a demonstration of how, starting from different theoretical elements and assumptions, one can reach such a degree of synthesis so as to put them virtually on the same level - at the same time alien and familiar to our common perception. however, the whistler failed miserably in their performance of the much-anticipated whistling ritual, probably on account of having drank too much of that “far east burdock tea”. this blunder made for a questionable concept of balance, blurring the meanings of perfection and error. the whistler resigned to the fact that each part of nature was then at once a fusion of mistakes as well as a part of a larger misunderstanding. -ondarock.it

Cat. number: erstwhile 081-2
Year: 2017