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Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard – Sound X Sound: Music For 30 Chromatic Tuners

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Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard - Sound X Sound: Music For 30 Chromatic TunersThe second in Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard‘s Sound X Sound series of 7″ singles, Music For 30 Chromatic Tuners follows on from Music For 8 Recorders in similarly trilling style. Where eight recorders together made for a sometimes gritty listen, Løkkegaard’s choice of not-quite instruments here leads him down somewhat different pathways. Using only the Korg CA-1 tuner as a sound source, both tracks on this record deliver a surprisingly full and often satisfyingly rounded dive into the world of microtones made maximal through the process of multiplication.

The sounds of 30 rather precisely tuned (obviously) devices being deployed in this way soon becomes hauntingly immersive, drawing the listener into a spell woven from the accreting tones until the logical end point of the solo piece is reached in a termination at once abrupt and entirely at the right moment to avoid running on too long. Intriguingly, Løkkegaard chooses not to avoid the sound of the devices being manipulated by their performers, instead allowing the clicks and shuffles of the tuner’s buttons being pressed to become part of the palette, bringing a human dimension to what could otherwise be left as a wholly electronic and perhaps therefore more sterile performance.

Where the solo is direct, concentrated and to the point, the ensemble piece utilises the interplay of the group to affect the dynamics of the music, and it’s edifying to note the patina of interconnection between the players which results from their collective performance, even when using devices as limited and monotone as these. Music For 30 Chromatic Tuners develops the series’ simple overarching concept neatly, and it will be intriguing to discover where — and on what scale of multiplicity — Løkkegaard leads the Sound X Sound idea next.

-Richard Fontenoy-

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