Sospensione d'estate (2007)
music is designed to blur the architectural spaces that we occupy during our
waking hours of the day. Whether it be an office cubical, a personal listening
space or subtly defined spaces within an architectural environment. CUBE's music
is music at the edge of perception, music meant to expand interior space.
One long relaxing and meditative track, enriched by multilayered textures from little sounds (rattles, tubes, flutes, etc) played in the wilderness, and field recordings supported by the sophisticated and gentle sounds of electronics and treated viola.
Listening at a volume slightly above the natural sound in the space that this work is being played.
a project, "Cube Music" has been produced with a utilitarian purpose,
in the grand tradition of the first self-proclaimed (and literally) ambient
music, Brian Eno´s "Music for airports". Alio Die and Johnson´s intent is to
have an effect on the architectural spaces inhabited by humanity during its
waking - and working - hours; the office cubical is mentioned specifically.
And not unlike Eno´s initial instructions for the proper way to listen, this music is intended to be played just loud enough to be heard above the natural sounds of the space in question, unfortunately effectively ruling out most of the working class in its clattering factories and on its thunderous construction sites.
Regardless of the unintended class division, Suspensione D´Estate is gorgeously performed, showcasing long, languid strokes of the viola by James Johnson. The viola is supremely well-suited to ambient, as its somewhat richer tone penetrates deeper than its spoiled celebrity cousin, the violin, and acts as both lead and resonant bottom at once.
As usual, Alio Die mans an arsenal of acoustic toys and quiet noisemakers given the landscape features, sometimes quite literally with environmental field recordings. Still, the most beautiful moments of them all are when viola and zither meet for a moment, entwine, and then drift apart. Nothing surprising, just a single, sixty-six minute waft of awesome, ephemeral symmetry.
Stephen Fruitman (sonomu.net)