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Jeremiah Cymerman: Decay Of The Angel

Mark Corroto By

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I don't recall the soundtrack to the original Bladerunner, Ridley Scott's 1982 film starring Harrison Ford. The movie, an adaptation of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, blurs the line between human and android. That same obfuscation (electroacoustic) is at the heart of Jeremiah Cymerman's solo recording Decay of the Angel and maybe, just maybe, a more suitable soundtrack to Bladerunner.

Cymerman is a clarinetist, but also a sound engineer. His instrument (acoustic) is his physical body plus clarinet and the android, his electronic treatments, are also present. He works in the same electroacoustic fields as Evan Parker, Otomo Yoshihide, and Axel Dorner. Free improvisation, though, is not the correct categorization, because Cymerman works in a more intentional manner on this recording.

Opening with "The Violence of Stupidity," a brief atonal etude with ambrosial tones played over an ever ominous crackle of electronic frequencies, Cymerman reveals his central theme. There is no clear dividing line between the body and the electronics. It is as if both could be considered sentient beings. This may be best illustrated with the piece "Spheres of Dissonance," where processed tones are unrecognizable as emanating from a clarinet. Here sounds that could be mistaken as the songs of blue whales meet some tortured dissonance before wandering away. This, his fourteenth recording, and first solo session since Purification / Dissolution (5049 Records, 2012) is a complex, yet unadorned recording. It invites the imagination to invent scenarios and reinvent scenes with each listen. The title track, at 22-minutes, is a landscape (symphonic?) painting that can be tracked left-to-right. Minimalist breath morphs into succulent multi-phonic lines while painted with electronic effects that reach a (can we say logical?) crescendo of machine noise and cacophony. Cymerman's music does allow for androids to dream dreams beyond their circuit boards.

Track Listing: The Violence of Stupidity; With Ten Thousand Shields and Spears; Spheres of Dissonance; The Canto of Ulysses; Decay of the Angel; The Body Becomes Fetid; Out of Many Waters.

Personnel: Jeremiah Cymerman: clarinet, electronics, percussion.

Title: Decay Of The Angel | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: 5049 Records

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