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Michael Pisaro
mind is moving I

order reference:   
EWR 0106
Michael Pisaro
Michael Pisaro, Guitar

Many pieces created today are written for specific places or opportunities (whether for the concert hall or a special performance), and then fulfill the function intended for them in that place. However, in a piece like mind is moving (I) the prevailing impression is that the piece itself must first create the site where it can sound. It seems that there is not simply a container into which the music is fit. The piece does not create a site by, so to say, standing its ground and asserting itself: its presence is much more subtle. The extremely delicate contact with the guitar strings (mostly harmonics, encompassing a wide range, up to the17th partial) corresponds to a temporal organization which just as delicately places these sounds in the expanse of time.

The site thus created is not a self-contained place through which time flows in a definite direction. Here at times an astounding sensation is felt, where time passes perpendicular to the music, or where time may come and go from all directions. Thus the site which comes into being is without walls, and along with this comes a permeability which leaves room for individual thought and for other tones. For that reason, in this music other things quite simply turn up: like the occasional whistling or soft scraping of the strings; not effects, but pure matters of course. Perhaps there is here the faintest reminiscence of the image of a folk singer, who whistles along with his guitar playing, and uses the noises to clarify the rhythm. But above all, these are sounds which in their lack of tension leave nothing behind but the memory that they were there at all.

In this piece, expanse and openness, rather astoundingly, go along with precision, which is concealed within the compositional craftsmanship and finds its most beautiful counterpart in the precise locating of the harmonics on the fret board of the guitar. Both of these qualities can only succeed when work and play are without arbitrariness. Thereupon, within the listener, silence and listening meet, allowing a sense of expanse and openness to develop. So the piece gently unfolds, and creates, all by itself, over the course of its long resounding, its own site: a place where it can live.

Jürg Frey

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