Two by Robert Crouch

A live improvisation and a microsonic excursion

Two pieces from one musician. “June 19” is a rich drone-informed excursion with a slowly morphing core. Robert Crouch, who committed “June 19” to tape, explains in a brief liner note that it is “completely improvised,” and that such an approach is unusual for him. He lists an array of modular synthesis components employed (“Mutable Instruments Braids, Intellijel Korgasmatron II, Makenoise Rene, Makenoise Echophone, Pittsburgh VILFO, Grendel Formant Filter, and Harvestman Tyme Sefari II”), but the music is the thing, in this case an often sultry piece of near stillness that sounds like what Herbie Hancock might have recorded in the early 1970s after spending a long afternoon in at a museum exhibit of a John Cage retrospective.

While “June 19” dates from a little over a month ago, an untitled piece from about a year back makes a good point of contrast. In breathy tempo and general hazy aspect, it is a parallel work, but slight adjustments in tone make is considerably less sultry and more ethereal — less Earth, more Heaven. Crouch has tagged it as “microsound” and it has a lower-case aesthetic certainly that’s fitting to that tag, though an underlying texture, like that of a ragged speaker cone, serves ultimately to ground the recording.

“June 19” and the untitled piece were originally posted at Crouch’s account. More from Crouch, who is based in Los Angeles, at

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