Review Beatrice Clarke
My immediate response to ‘Inertia’ was, “Oh no, digital pitter-patter, this is going to be boring; all the sampled midi stuff is not really music anyway.” Then, right about the time I decided to put aside my often stuffy, somewhat elitist attitudes regarding the conventions of musical expression – you know, acoustical instruments, the sound of human fingers across metal or nylon strings, the nuances and timbres present in the fiber of skin covered drums, the natural decay of volume following a cymbal crash or the subtle overtones the ear discerns lofting from the metal alloys – I began to get drawn into a kind of haunting pull from this composer’s expression.
As I listened, I realized I was responding from a primal place. This composer has found an effective basis of form and expression that corresponds with human emotion. I do find that interesting considering the aural medium is digitally constructed. Di Evantile has a good grasp of the tools available to him and, as any good craftsman will, orchestrates the “voices” into a good marriage. I especially like his use of the glass bottle sound on the first track, ‘Inertia.’ As the fairly well studied percussionist I am, I figured I’d grow weary of the rhythmic ostinato and four-bar phrasing present in most all of the tracks. Things are kept interesting, however by subtly offering differing voices to color the texture. I think one call be lulled into a sense of over simplicity regarding the form, but I think that’s exactly why it works so well.
There is breathing room in the phrasing allowing one to accept and really hear why the next change makes sense. This is especially true for the track, ‘Glassy Cracker’ and ‘Element of Happiness.’ There is certainly a sense of overall form to the CD as a whole and one could make a case for that, though that may or may not have been the intention. With the first four tracks in the key of A minor and the journey to the final track, ‘Decompressed’, a sort of hymnal sign off, I did have a sense of connection between the pieces; a kind of walk through someone’s dream. If you are looking for mood music, meditative background with a lover and a glass of wine or a companion to exercise or road travel, you should get this CD. Even if you’re a bit of a stuffy elitist like me, you owe it to yourself to hear and appreciate what Di Evantile is doing with his tools of the trade.