Music

Tristan Perich: Parallels

Minimalism, purism, discipline are the three components that make up Tristan Perich's music and this album in particular.


Tristan Perich

Parallels

Label: Physical Editions
US Release Date: 2015-03-24
UK Release Date: Import
Amazon
iTunes

Like pure mathematics, Tristan Perich’s music is something else. Waves or quanta? Mass or abstraction? One or zero? The focus of the discussion could be confined to the aesthetics, but in doing so we would lose sight of the method; vice versa, aim at analyzing the mode and you will never fully appreciate the principles of his art. In turn, this uncertainty principle in music simply evaporates without an attentive listener because you, the client user, are as indispensable as any bit in the sequence. You hear, listen and judge the series of tones and repetition, and although the real sense of it all will always remain obscurely vague, the more superficial layers will appear in all their simple elegance.

If you’re familiar with Perich as a music composer, you are aware of his affair with 1-bit music, or a sound that allows only one bit of music to be played at any given time. Minimalism, purism, discipline are the three components that make up his music, and this album in particular. Commissioned and performed by the Meehan/Perkins Duo, Parallels is part of a series which will continue in the spring with another composition (Telescope), then one in the summer (Dual Synthesis ) to end in grandiose fashion with Active Field , or the love marriage between ten violins and 10-channel 1-bit electronics, together with the Ensemble Signal conducted by Brad Lubman, one of the most brilliant young conductors around.

Commissioned by Todd Meehan and Doug Perkins, Parallels is a piece for hi-hats, 4-channel 1-bit electronics and tuned triangles, and it is the exploration of the virtually infinite possibilities of percussive sound. Considering Tristan Perich’s renowned talent for the visual arts – some of you may already know his most famous work, The Microtonal Wall , or 1,500 speakers, each playing a single microtonal frequency - his music is obviously closely related to a quasi-cinematographic feel.

One could easily see the obvious similarities with Steve Reich’s work – with Music for 18 Musicians being an understandable influence – but what Perich manages to do is enhance the magnitude of the interaction between man and machine, with one completely intertwined with the other. “With this series, I’m experimenting with presenting my compositional work as a collection of singles rather than curated albums”, says Perich on the press release. “I want to connect the listening experience back to the original composition, as well as highlight the separate roles of composer and performer. It is the performer who translates score into sound, a live event that is captured and becomes the recording.” And one can’t help but feel the live element; a component which becomes apparent, probably due to the album’s precarious balance (or “parallel”) between tone and noise, accent and cacophony, on some sort of poetry of oppositions. It is precarious, delicate, but not demure, implicit, frail.

We can easily expect Parallels to be the perfect departure point laying the foundation of the future releases with its mixture of pulses (both mechanic and organically-induced) and discipline, and we might be fascinated by the cleanliness of 1-bit music, but what is certain is that this is music that can be enjoyed and examined at various levels. The mesmerizing facet or the mechanical approach? The purity of the bit or the mellifluent stream of music as a whole?

Both are by-products of 46 minutes’ worth of a trance-like descent into the realm of simple and yet tremendously effective music. One way or another, Perich manages to construct a postmodern, rich piece of art by deconstructing his craft. One way or another, the listener is drawn to this piece from the first minute to the last because the listener is themselves part of the experience. Or simply because this is, indeed, something else and it needs to be experienced.

8
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

The Texas Gentlemen Share the Powerful and Soulful "Last Call" (premiere)

Eclectic Texas band, the Texas Gentlemen return with a vibrant, imaginative LP that resists musical boundaries. Hear their latest epic single, "Last Call".

Music

Vincent Cross Pays Tribute to Folk Hero via "King Corcoran" (premiere)

Gangs of New York-era James "The Rooster" Corcoran was described as the terror of New York's east side. His descendent, Vincent Cross, retells his story with a "modern dark fairy tale".

Music

Eddy Lee Ryder Gets Lonely and Defiant with "Expected to Fly" (premiere)

Eddy Lee Ryder explores the loss of friendship and refusal to come of age, cloaked in the deeply dramatic and powerful song, "Expected to Fly".

Playlists

Rock 'n' Roll with Chinese Characteristics: Nirvana Behind the Great Wall

Like pretty much everywhere else in the pop music universe, China's developing rock scene changed after Nirvana. It's just that China's rockers didn't get the memo in 1991, nor would've known what to do with it, then.

Film

Creative Disruption in 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

Portrait of a Lady on Fire yearns to burn tyrannical gendered tradition to ash and remake it into something collaborative and egalitarian.

Music

Fave Five: The Naked and Famous

Following two members leaving the group in 2018, synthpop mavens the Naked and Famous are down to a duo for the first time ever and discuss the records they turned to help make their aptly-named fourth record, Recover.

Evan Sawdey
Books

Fleetwood Dissects the European Mindset in His Moody, Disturbing Thriller, 'A Young Fair God'

Hugh Fleetwood's difficult though absorbing A Young Fair God offers readers a look into the age-old world views that have established and perpetuated cultural rank and the social attitudes that continue to divide us wherever we may reside in the world.

Music

Art Feynman Creates Refreshing Worldbeat Pop on 'Half Price at 3:30'

On Half Price at 3:30, Art Feynman again proves himself adept at building colorful worlds from unexpected and well-placed aural flourishes.

Music

The Beths Are Sharp As Ever on 'Jump Rope Gazers'

New Zealand power-poppers the Beths return with a sophomore album that makes even the most senior indie-rock acts feel rudimentary by comparison.

Music

Jessie Ware Returns to Form on 'What's Your Pleasure'

On What's Your Pleasure, Jessie Ware returns to where it all began, the dance floor.

Music

The Jayhawks Offer Us Some 'XOXO'

The Jayhawks offer 12-plus songs on XOXO to help listeners who may be alone and scared by reminding us that we are all alone together.

Music

Steve McDonald Remembers the Earliest Days of Redd Kross

Steve McDonald talks about the year that produced the first Redd Kross EP, an early eighth-grade graduation show with a then-unknown Black Flag, and a punk scene that welcomed and defined him.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.