Matthew Burtner Portals of Distortion: Music for Saxophones, Computers and Stone

Burtner's dirge-drone processing experiments blur the distinctions between acoustic and electronic idioms in fascinating ways. The title track features a nonet of saxophones that utilise circular breathing to generate a wave of vibrato that builds to a gradual crescendo and oscillating diminuendo. The computer-generated tape performance, "Fern," sounds like heavily filtered and processed choral music that builds in waves to peak in sudden industrial-strength crescendos. "Mists" is an evocative minimalist soundscape where the percussive sound of stones gets transformed into hissy waves of white noise. There's an almost operatic scope in the sonic blend of amplified reeds and computer generated tape in "Split Voices" and "Incantation S4," while "Glass Phase" uses glass percussion to confirm why the distinctions we make between acoustic and electronic sound fields are distortions that ultimately say more about a philosophy based upon binary opposites than they do about music or the nature of sound. (Innova)