curated by David Cotner – Otherness

curated by David Cotner

CD & Booklet – Sonic Arts Network
This is the ninth implementation of the series curated by the Sonic Arts Network, a British organization dedicated to studying, spreading and pondering non-conventional sound experiences. This time the task was assigned to David Cotner, a Californian contemporary experimental music composer and expert, skilled in choosing from diverse sources and sensitively organizing the ‘differences’. His sound paths follow more poetic than theoretical suggestions, but this is a good thing when the chosen artists are Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, Cluster & Brian Eno, David Toop and Kraig Grady, together with outsiders such as Mick Harris and Lee Ranaldo, who, compared to the works they’re known for, explore long silences, soundscapes and ethereal drones (the first one), and field recordings and light melodies captured in the urban zone of Shibuya in Tokyo. There’s also Conrad Schnitzler, formerly of Tangerine Dream and the percussionist/noise musician Z’ev that completes this 25-tracks album with a sophisticated and disquieting suite in memory of Arthur Lee (the front-man of the psychedelic band Love). The sleeve graphics is halfway between Seventies comics and Jugendstil, and is an exhausting compendium of this research organized around the concepts of ‘other’ and ‘otherness’: ‘evil is the rhythm of others’, said Henri Michaux, but sometimes one can be on the same wavelength as the ‘others’, despite the ‘differences’ in feelings.