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ROBERT MORAN: Cabinet of Curiosities
Moran is something of a maverick, and these are not much like most percussion works that have emerged from the world of writing – or of contemporary art music. They are based on graphic notations and employ a vast array of, mostly non-classical, percussion - over 100 different instruments feature in myriad combinations. Atmospheric, sound conscious employing both extended techniques and everyday objects as well as formal instruments, these pieces explore experiential modes of reception rather than formal or structural ones, depending therefore heavily on the performers who, in this case, are exemplary – especially the solo constructions of Dan Moore, clearly a gifted improviser. Salagrama is particularly impressive - apparently consisting of almost nothing, it is so perfectly pitched that it achieves a kind of timeless immersivity that’s hard to dissect or quantify. Interestingly too, overdubbing is freely used – a solo realisation being assembled over many passes. On the other side, too much taken at once diminishes the effect, so it’s best to listen to a few pieces at a time, not more. And not everything works quite so well; sometimes credibility hangs by a thread. Interesting work. With useful and informative notes.