VARIOUS ARTISTS
Airport Symphony

[Room40, www.room40.org]

Commissioned by the Queensland Music Festival, "Airport Symphony" has one central motif, which are sounds indigenous to an airport. Airport in question is one in Brisbane, where sound artists [and Room40 proprietor] Lawrence English made field recordings over a span of four months earlier on this year. Then, these source materials where handed over to 18 other sound artists, who threw their own weight around and made each piece their very own. Many of the cuts have discernable airport sounds all over them - from airplane engines up close to planes whizzing by overhead. Some are more discreet and equally as good as the other pieces. While Francisco Lopez's "Untitled # 203" goes for pure overload of plane engines whizzing across the speakers, Taylor Deupree's "Fear of Flying" is more discreet in its intent. His piece is packed with airport noises, human voices and microtonal sounds. Dale Lloyd goes for a more intimate look of the airport on his lulling "Airs for Beacons/Signals for Ports", while Marc Behrens' "3 Winged Zones" is an intense, airplane-noise filled exercise in high-pitched engine near-cacophony. Toshiya Tsunoda delivers a surprise to close off the first disc with "Peak to Peak", a piece that crackles with highly shocking noise-burst that pop out of lengthy pauses of total silence. Second disc is equally as good as Tim Hecker's flowing "Blue Ember Breeze" rubs shoulders with Stephan Mathieu's dream-conducive "Lux-Scn". Fennesz's "Verona" is illusionary and somewhat abrasive, which acts as a fine complement to Burkhard Beins' wispy and atmospheric "Tarmac (Berlin Edit)". Lovers of air travel should reach for this set without delay.

Tom Sekowski


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