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    Matthew Burtner – NOISE Plays Burtner

    February 21st, 2014

    Matthew Burtner - Noise Plays Burtner

    The harsh environment of Alaska, where composer Matthew Burtner grew up, has exerted quite a big influence on some of his musical works. Take, for example, “Snowprints,” the second of three pieces on his new album of chamber music–featuring the ensemble NOISE on flute, violin, cello, guitar, piano, percussion, sax and computer–called NOISE Plays Burtner. Employing the sounds of recorded snow as a droning counterpoint to the acoustic instruments, this 15-minute centerpiece maintains a subtle web of minimal ambience that ranges from pastoral to squeaky to homely to ominous to outright intense. The ensemble maintains interesting playing throughout.

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    Matthew Burtner – Portals of Distortion

    November 15th, 2009

    Matthew Burtner - Portals of Distortion

    The childhood-experienced “sound of wind rushing over the tundra” and “the sound of storms over the ocean” have deeply influenced the six works of this atmospheric CD from Alaskan-born composer Matthew Burtner. The title track is a long, thick sleeping bag full of nine layered saxophone blasts and drones, which are fairly similar to James Tenney’s “Saxony,” that should keep everyone–including your too-tall younger brother–warm until tomorrow’s camping sunrise. It’s at once invigorating yet oddly soothing. The computer-generated tape work of “Fern” is a dark, brooding excursion into “ambient” granular synthesis that seems to glide by–and through–you with an almost aerodynamic ease. “Split Voices” sort of seems to be a combination of the first two efforts, while “Mists” is comprised of “eight polyphonic lines of filtered noise” from a computer noise controller fronted by incessant, clacking layers from a “stone trio.”

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