Warren Burt The Animation of Lists and the Archytan Transposit

With a title that warns of an ass-numbing academic exercise, the sound of this Australian minimalist’s two-disc exploration is surprisingly easy to digest. Burt is known for an uncommonly eccentric approach to musical sound sourcing, and this work is the culmination of a two-decade investigation into just intonation tuning forks. Having crafted or commissioned their construction in a wide note range from bass to upper register, Burt and Catherine Schieve then joined forces to "play” the forks as percussion instruments. The artist’s statement about the composition references such theory points as 2nd century Ptlolemaic harmonics, inverted Dorian modes and so on; but for all of that the more casual ear finds the approximate sound of particularly well-bred wind chimes. Closer attention unlocks the richly-textured harmonic interplay full of sympathetic pulses and low throbs. One somewhat unexpected element of the composition is level of improvisation in its unfolding. The post-play editing involves a certain subtle amount of recombination and, on the second disc, digital pitch alteration to extend the scale. At two and a half hours, a full run-through of the composition may stretch some attention spans, but like most well-crafted ambient music it pays back out the listener’s level of investment. (Homegreen)