Shamanistic improv, field recordings and more whipped into a dense, visceral collage.
Bill Tilland 2006-02-21
This recording, which represents the collaboration of social anthropologist, multi-instrumentalist and experimental composer Tim Hodgkinson, free improv drummer Ken Hyder and Siberian shaman drummer and overtone singer Gendos Chamzyryn, collapses and combines fifteen years of field recordings and formal concerts into an extraordinary sound collage.
The CD package does not reveal the source of the sounds (or much of anything else), but Hyder and Chamzyryn are clearly responsible for much of the percussion, and also provide overtone singing and guttural chanting. Hodgkinson's role as performer is less clear (presumably, both he and Hyder were heavily involved in production), but at least some of the plucked and bowed string sounds are undoubtedly his, together with brief bursts of saxophone, clarinet and other reed instruments.
Also prominent in the mix are snippets of conversation, crowd or audience noises, footfalls, birdsong, and the sounds of wind, rain and a crackling fire. "Three Dungars" seems to be a fairly straightforward, real time percussion workout, but the other six pieces all blur time and place appreciably and achieve a disorienting sonic density.
In a recent interview, Hyder remarked that shamanistic drumming has nothing to do with timekeeping; it is a means of accessing spiritual energy. Beyond all expectations, this recording actually touches that energy source - it is charged with visceral yet transcendent vibrations. Simply awesome.