XI 101: Four Full Flutes
Phill Niblock's music has no precedents, invites no comparisons, and
doesn't even suggest any metaphors to me. It is simply itself and must
be heard to be believed," wrote Tom Johnson in The Village Voice a
decade ago. The same is true today--no one is doing what Phill Niblock
is doing. Niblock takes the building blocks of music and stacks them in
inimitable formations. In Four Full Flutes, adjacent tones beat
violently against one another while clouds of harmonics hover above the
wavering drone....When the piece ends, it takes the listener a few
moments to recover. This physiological experience, when the ossicles
slow their vibrating and the membrane hairs come to a standstill, is
probably the only aspect of the music not regulated by the
score....Playing this compact disc in a different room or moving around
the room while the disc is being played actually alters the outcome.
Similarly, the music can be experienced anew through different
combinations, extra speakers, home stereo pyrotechnics, and volume
level alterations. The effects intensify with louder levels of volume.
The higher the volume goes, the higher you go.
The aural effect is minimal to the max, but it isn't simplistic. The tones vibrate and glow, the densely packed texture shifting hues like a sonic aurora borealis."
The four pieces on this 80 minute CD are for multiple tracks of alto flutes, flutes, flutes and alto flutes, and bass flutes, performed by Petr Kotik, Susan Stenger, and Eberhard Blum.