Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard has been busily investigating the particular qualities that can come from quantity on his Sound X Sound series of seven 7” vinyl releases. In this third instance, he has nine pianists playing two very different pieces in a veritable fall and resurgence along the keyboard, descending and rising up from the depths with results that are on occasion remarkably similar to some of the impossible to play black MIDI tunes that were all the rage for a while.
As ever, Løkkegaard’s compositions are more about the properties of the sounds that each instrument generates rather than having a specific musical character. This is of course what some sections of the avant-garde have been concerned with for a century or more, and Løkkegaard’s contribution to the ongoing project is exemplary.As might be imagined, “Descending Piece” ripples frenetically from the higher registers downwards to the the deeper tones, sounding far removed from the usual pianist’s approach of starting at one end of the keyboard and trolling amiably down to the other. Instead, the notes flood past almost relentlessly, tumbling and coruscating like a waterfall of sound that swells in intensity until a final rushing roar. It’s a veritable Niagara of sound, and actually quite refreshing, like a plunge beneath said waters to become immersed in a maximalist baptism by piano. “Partial Piece” takes an opposing approach, reflecting on thundered chords and the resonant properties of strings and frame, tapping and recursing in a tippling traipse up the scale with quite hypnotic results.
-Antron S Meister-