If you'd like to hear what would have happened had the brilliantly maverick Harry Partch taken LSD and then sat down to compose, listen to Berger Rond's Audiomachie / Logomachie. For this enterprise, Rond appears to have leaned into the higher register of the acoustic instruments he loves to work with—and trust me, due to a collagistic/plunderphonics approach, they sound very electronic. Though Dan Stearns plays a ukelele only on cut two, more than a little of Audiomachie locates itself in that staccato instrument's register and thus exhibits a higher degree of nervous tension than much of the rest of Vincent Bergeron's thoroughly unique catalogue.
It staggers the imagination to try to discern just how much work must have gone into the creation of each song in the Rond collection. Every piece crafted by this gent is cheek and jowl with the most extreme of the 1960s Nonesuch pioneers and confederates (Druckman, Erb, Wuorinen, that whole crowd) and, perpetually morphing bars and measures aside, is a madhouse of second-to-second tectonic shifts. Yet it all hangs together beautifully……if, that is, your conception of beauty can stretch that far. This is crucial.
I suppose the most apt label for most of Vincent Bergeron's work would be 'electro-opera moderne fantastique', with a sly grin for the 'electro' aspect, as it's only his crazed pastiching which imbues this aspect. With few exceptions, every note heard is first played by a human being and then transmogrified through sampling and placement. Here, Bruissement de Grisere becomes thornily liquid in a striking counterpoint to the gent's usual wont, demonstrating just how bizarrely acoustic sound can lose its characteristics when cut and pasted against perceptual norms. If norms, however, are what you're seeking, then I advise that you turn back now and sprint for the horizon, because Audiomachie / Logomachie shreds all accepted modes except the hallowed gist of the last wave of the 20th century's glorious lunatics seeking portals beyond the death of a planet through what is rarely mentioned in aesthetic purviews but quite nicely embraced by Bergeron himself: "…it would be worth it to kill capitalism".
And why not? Capitalism has killed everything else, including and most especially art and the imagination.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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