AURENCE CRANE / ASAMISIMASA
Sound Of Horse
2LP/CD/DL Hubro HUBROCD2582
Kristine Tjøgersen – clarinets
Tanja Orning – cello
Anders Førisdal – guitars
Ellen Ugelvik – piano and electric organ
Håkon Mørch Stene – percussion
Ditte Marie Bræin – soprano
Music might be abstract, but listening never is. Particular sounds give rise to particular associations: a feeling, say, or a sense of place. A composer writes marks on paper, yet we think of drifting clouds or the play of light across a room.
The music of the English composer Laurence Crane provides fertile ground for such allusions, perhaps because of its very indefiniteness. On the face of it, his carefully hand-written scores move notes across a page, using minimal resources to create elegant formal shapes whose simple repetitions or drones gather cumulative weight as they go. But in performance by the Norwegian group asamisimasa, these sounds evoke a vivid imaginative world, from the humdrum — the chime of a clock, a siren’s wail, the whirr of an air-conditioning system — to the sublime. Unlike most composers, Crane deals with beauty quite unapologetically, and this is a very beautiful album.
Allusions, and the sounds which provoke them, are also culturally specific. Crane (born in Oxford, 1961) operates in an international context but it’s possible to read his music as in some ways emblematically English, however fanciful such determinism may be. One thinks of Brian Eno, say, as much as Morton Feldman; of the painters Constable and Turner, even. It is also hard not to see an element of wilful English eccentrism in Crane’s choice of texts for the three movements of ‘Events’: lists of famous people’s birthdays, selected foreign exchange rates, and a record of UK weather, all taken from one day’s edition of The Guardian.
Available as CD with 16 page booklet, 2LP with printed inner sleeves and bonus track and on all digital platforms.