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    Jon Christopher Nelson – The Persistence of Time and Memory

    Jon Christopher Nelson - The Persistence of Time and Memory

    I just have one request. I’m working on a new performance art piece as part of a college course I just enrolled in. Can you and I get together sometime soon and talk about the composer Jon Gibson, the singer Christopher Cross and the actor Charles Nelson Reilly simultaneously in order to colloquially mimic in real time a chaotic electro-acoustic composition straight from the bowels of academia? “No!” you scream. “I’ve written a review of a new CD by Jon Christopher Nelson, and his name covers all three of theirs, so don’t get any bright ideas. Plus, his music is actually relaxing compared to whatever sonic nightmare you want to conjure up.”

    A professor at the University of North Texas College of Music, where he is an associate of CEMI (the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia), Jon has punted a shiny new CD toward the cranium of anyone who will listen. A work that “explores notions as diverse as multiverses, string theory, black holes, the ‘chirping’ of gravitational waves, loop quantum gravity, entropy, and sonic surrealism,” The Persistence of Time and Memory could easily be filed away in the ambient section of your collection.

    “And Time Unfolds Like a Flower” opens the disc with some quiet, crackling ambience layered over a smattering of industrial noise. “Tightly Wound” adds in more sparse instrumental sounds, knocks and schwings. “Toward the Event Horizon” introduces a much bigger reverb along with some ambient drones it recently purchased down at the local five-and-dime. “Ripples in the Fabric of Space-Time” claims to mimic the sound of two black holes colliding, but the composer forgot that there ain’t no sound in outer space, brah! I heard a rooster buried deep down in the mix somewhere. Roosters are good. Their appearance in sound recordings always makes me chuckle. This piece ends with a nice, big, blurry explosion.

    “Bang, Crunch, Bounce” contains some Xenakis-like swirls in addition to the mundane sounds of traffic, public announcements over loudspeakers, dogs barking, shouting crowds, etc. “The Entropy of Memory” shoves you off into a vast array of ultra deep reverb ambience that sounds like 10 million Carlsbad Caverns piled on top of each other. “When Left to His Own Devices” closes out the disc with some knocks and squeaky doors. If Pierre Henry were still alive, I wonder if he’d file a lawsuit? Considering the sound of this CD as a whole, if you told me it had been released by the likes of empreintes DIGITALes or INA-GRM, I’d believe ya.

    Label: Neuma Catalog Number: Neuma 184 Format: CD Packaging: Mini-LP gatefold Tracks: 7 Total Time: 62:21 Country: United States Released: 2023 More: Bandcamp, Official

    Text ©2024 Arcane Candy

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