Carol Robinson
Billows

[Plush, www.plush-internet.org]

Composer Carol Robinson admits she was smitten by Giacinto Scelsi's methodology in music. As she points out in the liner notes to her latest release, "In 1982, a friend brought several scores by Giacinto Scelsi from Italy. They astounded me. I played them in concert. Scelsi listened to a recording and invited me to Rome. Immediately, a profound complicity grew between us. I instinctively understood his music, and he heard what he was looking for in my playing. What's more, Scelsi confirmed something that I felt: that music is an opening toward something beyond our reality. Reaching beyond borders, beyond what cannot quite be understood, what cannot be easily codified, this is my objective with improvised electronic music. Scelsi gave me the strength to trust my intuition." Robinson's music turns out to be quite revelatory. She pushes her clarinets - basset horn and birbyne - through live electronics that are manipulated so seamlessly, one could get an impression, there are no electronics present at all. Full of crescendos and eerie, slow-moving peaks, the sounds linger in the air. No climax is ever reached, as every single second of this recording is an actual climax in itself. No conclusion is heard anywhere in the piece, as the sounds follow a stop-and-go routine. Silence is an equal partner in the mix and Robinson realizes how best to utilize it as an equal partner. Listening to "Billows" one gets an impression of hearing every single millisecond of sound through an impenetrable fog. I hold my breath with anticipation each and every single time I pop this CD into the player. This is truly timeless music.

- Tom Sekowski


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>> Carol Robinson - Billows