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ARTIST
TITLE
Aluminum Overcast
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
CB 007CD CB 007CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
10/15/2001

"The six-movement set of variations that comprise Aluminum Overcast play with the listener's sense of time -- the perceived pace and the clock pace at which musical events take place -- as they slowly progress, the spare advancing to the dense. The first five sections/variations are built from shared/recurrent phrases -- melodic phrases (for bowed and struck metal), rhythmic phrases derived from geometric and Fibonacci structures, and phrases of 'harmonic noise' that vary in density. The sixth movement, something of a coda to the whole work, steps aside from the variations structure and into a purely textural, Ligeti-like soundworld. Aluminum Overcast is scored for metal instruments of the composer's design -- resonators that sprout rods, which are bowed and struck; large, clangorous sculptures of titanium; metal strings strung across multiple resonators; and vibraphone-like arrays of metal plates -- along with an understated touch of pedal steel guitar and electronically processed flute and woman's voice. Chas Smith is a Los Angeles-based composer, performer, and instrument designer and builder who, in the spirit of Harry Partch, creates much of his music for his own exotic instruments. His compositions, which always display his dualistic fascination with the scientific and the sensual, might owe their split personalities to the diverse collection of composers he studied with in the 1970s: Morton Subotnick, Mel Powell, James Tenney, and Harold Budd."