Monday, November 06, 2006

Sun Rushing In

Sound Collage for Live Performance
The rather utilitarian title of this disc hardly describes the beauty & enchantment it contains. Sun Rushing In is the collaborative effort of Lauri Des Marais & Susan Deleo. Des Marais handles the sound composition & synthesizers. Deleo contributes guitar & vocals. I believe that these tracks were originally designed to be used for performance pieces or installations. Divorced from their original context, they still manage to hold up on their own.

The first track “Meditation in four parts, Earth,” despite its new age-y like title is surprisingly organic. It opens with a low moan of keyboards and the sound of someone counting. There is a conversation buried in the mix. The vocals are barely audible beneath the tape head rumblings, tweeting birds, and street sounds. I love how they leave in the artifacts of the making of the sound piece. The tape hiss and audio pops keep the sound piece rooted in the real. Without these ties to reality, the piece could easily float away.

I think my favorite track off the album is “Mary.” It is an acoustic guitar and a sweet keyboard line. It reminds me of early more acoustic based Flying Saucer Attack or early home taping era Charalambides before they became so spare. That is not to say that Sun Rushing In is not spare, but it is in a different way.

The thuds & hiss of the recording device become part of the composition. The rumble of the tape heads are the main feature of track six. This track employs something called an Auquasonic. The disc shifts from guitar and singing with peripheral noise additions on earlier tracks to pure sound manipulations. Sun Rushing In employs field recordings of dolphins, wolves, & insects. That natural world is very important to the sound. They seem to have the same, almost mystical, connection to natural world as Alastair Galbraith does to the wilds of the south island of New Zealand.

Sun Rushing In’s music seems to hover between pure abstractions & more traditional modes of musical expression. Susan Deleo’s vocals seem to seep through gauze, as Lauri Des Marais’ electronics obscure and reveal her partner’s vocals. The music of Sun Rushing In is not tied to a time or place; it is both ancient and modern all at once.
(Post Dawn Music) (Dan Cohoon)