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På skive

WILLIAM PARKER

«Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics»
GOTTA LET IT OUT, GLIO19CD

The AquaSonic waterphone is a hand-crafted instrument that was invented by American artist Richard Waters. It produces hauntingly ethereal sounds similar to the songs of humpback whales or the eerie sounds produced by the theremin. The AquaSonic waterphone contains a small amount of water which moves around inside the waterphone, and causes constant changes in pitch. It can be played by bowing the tone rods using a violin or cello bow, or played permissively by lightly drumming with a mallet, drum sticks or by hand.

Legendary double bass player, multi-instrumentalist, composer, writer and activist William Parker uses a version of this unique instrument built by his close associate, drummer-percussionist-master craftsman Jackson Krall. This instrument was featured in Parker’s last year, epic composition «Healing Songs From The Tone World». Parker, together with the AquaSonic waterphone section of that epic composition – visual artists Anne Humanfeld (featured in Parker’s book, «Voices in the First Person: Art and Language», Centering Music, 2014) and Jeff Schlanger (who did the artwork for several albums of Parker), and the Estonian, New York-based drummer-composer Leonid Galaganov, recorded on February 2017 Parker’s seven compositions for AquaSonic waterphone quartet.

«Lake of Light» sounds like nothing that Parker has recorded before. The first impression is of a quiet, minimalist journey with the cosmic sounds of the AquaSonic waterphones, as offered on the opening «shifting Resonance».

This strong, meditative atmosphere convince you to dive – literally – into the light, resonant sounds of the bowed and the touched instruments and flow and float with their overtones. But later pieces suggest a more complex and completely different tones. The dynamics become more tense, sometimes even stormy, and the still resonant textures are comprised of disturbing, disorienting sounds and even cacophonic noises. The quartet resumes its spiritual vibe on the 17-minutes title piece, but in in a more nuanced mode. The bowed AquaSonic waterphones offer layers upon layers of fragile sounds and overtones, but these atmospheric sounds does not have the former meditative effect. Thes quartet offers now a deeper mode of listening, exploring a deeper, multi-layered spectrum of timbres that cover a wide range of colors and shades, from the delicate to the most weird and alien ones. The last piece, «Action», introduces a new emphatic and playful mode that balances the quartet all experiences with these unique instruments.

Eyal Hareuveni

William Parker (AquaSonic), Jeff Schlanger (AquaSonic), Anne Humanfeld (AquaSonic), Leonid Galaganov (AquaSonic)

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