Claudio Parodi, "Horizontal Mover (homage to Alvin Lucier)"

Claudio Parodi is sitting in a room, different from the one you are in, and slowly dissolving the relationship between his instruments and the space they occupy. Alvin Lucier's famous I Am Sitting in a Room informs Parodi's recording, the natural resonance of a room used as an instrument just as much as the resonating instruments themselves. Parodi has complicated the process a bit, but the idea is the same and the outcome is captivating.



There's little sense in being anything but brief about this: Horizontal Mover sounds fantastic. Its simplicity is part of its beauty. For nearly one full hour Parodi provides a continuous stream of metallic hums variously shrieking and cascading in long, warm breaths. The sound begins in media res, the Ohm of music already built into multi-faceted organism of various tones and textures. From there the music begins to build unstoppably, the constantly recycled sources of sound slowly layering over one another excitably.

It is, at times, uncomfortable to listen to because of the high frequency squeals that endure for seemingly unnatural amounts of time. Their endurance, however, somehow makes them more tolerable. As they are swallowed up into a larger and larger mass of sound, their qualities begin to bleed into other sounds, creating warbling patterns and unusual fluctuations in the presentation. At times the piece must have been edited for dramatic effect: the mass of sound sometimes fades away into near silence, but the complexity of the sound still seems rich and full with all the details present before the fade. Eventually Horizontal Mover becomes monumental: one, huge abrasive piece of sound occupies the final moments of the disc. It is obviously composed of various parts, but the effect it produces is that of a unity. Its presence is almost overwhelming, but also stunning. I found myself turning the volume up as the piece ended, just to feel the power of the sound. The sudden collapse of sound at the end is shocking and strangely pleasant, highlighting the intensity of the sound that came before and the impressive, intense build that constitutes the whole of the recording.