ANNEA LOCKWOOD
Early Works 1967 - 82

[EM Records, www.emrecords.net]

One of the things that excite me most about composer Annea Lockwood is her guiding principles. As she says in her own words, "?I developed two guiding principles which served me well for a long time: always say 'Yes!' and when considering which idea to work on next, choose the most extreme." "The Glass World" album which she worked on from 1968 through 1970 was certainly one extreme piece of work. Lockwood's basic premise for the work was to play on three large glass structures on stage. One was made up of fine glass tubing, the second one was created from trees of bottles hung upside-down in a spiral pattern and the last one was a mobile of large slabs of wired glass. The audience was kept in the dark, and all sound was generated by Lockwood off-stage and amplified accordingly. Intensity of the piece lies in the premise that one has to truly concentrate on the sound [the performer can't be seen]. In this fashion, the sound was all the more intense. Some of the sounds are recognizable as one hears water droplets from dripping bottles, or a pane of glass being contorted, while other ones can only be guessed at. The more one digs into the work, the more absorbed one becomes. Dating to 1970, "Tiger Balm" is an intense 19 minute piece that is in Lockwood's estimation an assembly of sounds that are erotic and sensuous. In fact, she claims, "the piece is part of my blending with myself as a woman - making love with one's essence, merging with it". In a nutshell, Lockwood created a specific sound world of mixed live and taped sounds. She wanted to get a feeling of a ritual and was thinking of a tiger and its reaction to surrounding environment. With field recordings of tigers, water and nature sounds, the end result is equal parts sultry, mysterious and exotic. Mid way through one section, you'll even get to hear the gasps of what could be construed as horror of someone who is confronted by a tiger or someone who's experiencing an intense orgasm. The album also features a booklet with Lockwood's "Piano Transplants" (1967 - 1982), where she burned an old piano ["Piano Burning"], set up a piano in a garden ["Piano Garden"], drowned a piano in a shallow lake ["Piano Drowning"] and left an old grand piano on a beach in Perth, Australia for the people and ocean do to their work until it finally disintegrated ["Southern Exposure"]. One can only hope the extremities on this first-rate compilation of two long-forgotten works will hopefully bring Lockwood's name to a wider audience.

Tom Sekowski


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>> ANNEA LOCKWOOD - Early Works 1967 - 82
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