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DOCKSTADER, TOD and MYERS, DAVID: Bijou
A subtle, moody, rich and wide-ranging work, in which atmosphere, emotion and dramaturgy lead the ear far beyond music into a world of hints, evocations, anticipation and association and, in passing, reveal a complex metonymic language that, at a deep level, invokes that mostly unconscious lexicon of sound we have all absorbed collectively and subliminally in the course of a century of movie-going, television viewing, documentary recording and electroacoustic experimentation. Once sounds have been abstracted from events, they are free to act and interact as signs; they are no longer indications of the real. And from their use as indicators we learn new meanings (the low drone from Jaws, the shower strings from Psycho, a TV theme, these are all as directly meaningful to us as a barking dog or an approaching train; after 1000 movies, the sound of a helicopter has as many fictional as factual meanings, and these accretions make experience imaginatively richer). This is the language Dockstader and Myers explore, and although, in a sense, such signs are weightless (there is nothing there), nevertheless we cannot unhook them and inevitably they conjure fragmentary narratives, events, places, situations and meanings. Where their last CD (Pond) abstracted sound from the life (in fact, documentary recordings of frogs), this one invokes a fictional life invoked in a language of purely mediated abstraction.
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