The netlabel Stasisfield, at stasisfield.com, run by John Kannenberg, has ventured deep into rarefied sonic territory in the past, but its current release may be its most sonically remote yet. Recorded by Coppice, a duo from Chicago, it is an extended survey of small tones. Coppice is Noé Cuéllar and Joseph Kramer, and they based the work, titled Vinculum (Courses), on what is described as “bellows and processed reeds” (the full materials were, apparently, an “8-channel installation with shruti box, free reeds, accordion, acoustic filters, and electronics”). As those materials might suggest, the sounds are delicate, venturing into the realm of pure tone, one after another, starting so quiet as to be mistaken for dog whistles, and slowly growing in intensity. Two things come into focus as the work proceeds. One is how the general absence of an attack, of a strong initial sonic signature, draws attention to textures within the tones. The other is how the concept of “intensity” itself is a purely relative one, because as “present” as the work becomes, that is largely in contrast with just how fragile it was when originated (MP3).
Originally released for free download and streaming by stasisfield.com. More on Cuéllar at noe.futurevessel.com and Kramer at josephkramer.wordpress.com. The work was recorded live on March 25 of this year at the Flea Theater in New York City, as part of Music with a View 2011, curated by Kathleen Supové.