Peter Ivan Edwards, also known as PIE, is an American-born composer and baker now based in Singapore. (I had no idea there was an avant-garde classical scene down there!) His first collection of baked goods, Object Lessons, consists of four recent era aural cupcakes with expiration dates that ranged from 2005-2009. The oven opens wide inside a “Dark Room,” a stop / start-style percussion ensemble workout based on a scattershot compositional technique that grabs you by the ears and forces you to pay close attention to the sonic properties of each and every instrument. This piece is vaguely reminiscent of Edgard Varese’s classic “Ionisation” from 1931, although it’s not so forward-lurching. Scored for solo piano, “Carve and Color” operates in a similar manner. Inspired by viewing abstract expressionist paintings up close then far away, its many and varied notes emulate splattered paint drops as they range from short-lived intricate, rapid runs to banging dissonance (up close) to a single note slowly repeated in a quiet, candle-lit room (far away). This is the central compositional theme in the composer’s work. “Schnappchenjagd” heads right back into the same percussion field–but this time solo–that we first visited in the “Dark Room.” Closing out the album in surprising fashion is “Hareu! Hareu!” for solo guitar, in which actual melodic lines are plucked in between the odd lone note, creating a forlorn yet warm sonic Cubist painting. If you like the taste of academic music pie, the time is nigh to fork up a slice of Object Lessons.
Text ©2012 Arcane Candy