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Space Music MP3

On Halloween, the Stasisfield netlabel (stasisfield.com) released a single, hour-long piece by musician Peter Koniuto titled Past Andromeda (MP3). As the name suggests, it’s an exercise in space music: slow blooms of galactic sound that stretch from ear to ear like a blissful smile; sonar blurps that bring to mind how Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry imagined submarines, rather than airplanes, as the Starship Enterprise’s most significant predecessor; and occasional flurries of digitally messed-up speech, suggesting the space-enabled psychosis of Stanislaw Lem’s novel Solaris. There’s also a patiently plucked melody that sounds like the opening from the theme to Deliverance played at quarter speed, and each time it cycles through it grounds the track’s otherwise heady stew of aural effluvia. The version of Past Andromeda on Stasisfield is a stereo reduction of an eight-speaker installation project by Koniuto, who first staged it at the University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music in Stockton, California, back in September 2002 as part of the school’s annual Music Beyond Performance series. The music’s source materials include electric bass guitar, field recordings, children’s toys, glass vases, harmonica, among other household objects. More on Koniuto at the website of his upstate New York studio, redsunsoundroom.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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