Music for Time by Jean-Pierre Saccomanni MCP Productions, 2002 Contact: email@example.com This French import provides a mixed salad of spacey Eurotronics and synthesized “modern classical-“ sounding music. In the first few tracks, Saccomanni follows the path of the electronic weirdness of early Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, and the French-German group “Lightwave.” Saccomanni shows a classical background in his choice of variety and pacing, chords both atonal and impressionistic, and his keyboard work. But he’s also aware of the more avant-garde heritage of European electronic music which has been produced since the fifties. Sometimes his work sounds like “classical” avant-garde from years back composers like Stockhausen, Xenakis, Ligeti. His electronic tonalities, though they are from up-to-date equipment, are in line with much earlier work done on ancient analog oscillators and tape manipulation devices. It’s an impressive blend of old and new. The first two tracks, “Cold Scene” and “Variations on a Clepsydra,” show this blend best. “Cold Scene” sounds like the aforementioned “Lightwave,” with a whirling maelstrom of sound, while “Clepsydra” (meaning “water clock”) is a “theme and variations” piece done for electronics and loops, based on fanfare-like fifths which move into more complex harmonies as the piece continues. Tracks three and four, “Music for Time,” and “Some times ago,” sound like the score for a scary science-fiction horror movie, full of startling moments and spooky drones. Saccomanni is less successful with his last two tracks, “Having only one Time,” and “Nostalgia.” In these pieces, he abandons his science fiction milieu and presents something like “pop classical” music, all played on the “orchestral” synthesizer which despite using sampled instrument sounds, cannot help sounding artificial. These attempts at a more “traditional” type of music ramble on aimlessly, though “Nostalgia” manages to find a rhythm and melody after the first 9 minutes. I would recommend the alien electronics of the earlier pieces rather than the conventional material later on. Hannah M.G. Shapero 12/11/02
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