Carol Robinson
Billows
 
 
Carol Robinson .| 12 Tracks total 45:54 .| 1st edition 2009
 
PLUSH 13
 

Carol Robinson| Billows  
 


01 - Quiver Quaver 4:31
02 - Whir 1:24
03 - Quop 2:10
04 - Greys Gaze 5:25
05 - Clover Cover 3:53
06 - Whim 2:46
07 - Meshed Maze 4:36
08 - The Lingering 3 :56
09 - The Misted 3:45
10 - Weft 5:13
11 - Rippling 5:18
12 - Etas 2:57

FILE UNDER :
PLUSH CLASSICS
MINIMAL
STILLNESS
COOL
 
   
   
   
   

Release date 13 November 2009 .
...simply a person sitting in a room playing an instrument. Although the instrument is connected by various microphones to a computer that receives and transforms the instrumental sound, there is no overdubbing or other manipulation, merely sound vibrating freely in space, shimmering and floating, reacting to itself as well as to the acoustics of the room and in constant flux with the new instrumental input of the player interacting with it.

La musique de Carol Robinson est plus qu’une musique. C’est un espace. Un horizon. Un lieu ouvert. Un son passe, s’éloigne. Il revient comme dans un rêve caresser la surface de l’air. Il se fait brise, douceur, qui insensiblement se mêle à une bourrasque venue des profondeurs, plus sombre, qui enfle et emplit l’espace. Une note traverse la distance ouverte par la musique, comme le vent balaie une plaine. Et le silence survient, une accalmie au sein de la tempête. Un silence plein, un silence tenu, porteur déjà du son suivant, souffle aérien qui se fait orage et prend toute la place, pour refluer plus tard, s’éloigner comme une vague.
De mystérieux chuchotements se répondent et se croisent. Se répètent aussi, et ainsi créent une attente, mettent nos nerfs à fleur de peau, peau qu’effleure de nouveau une brise, un murmure, une note.
C’est peut-être cela, cette matérialité de la musique, sa capacité à prendre possession de nos sens, qui est le plus émouvant dans les compositions de Carol Robinson.

Sylvie Tanette



 
Milan Kundera's novel Slowness relates slowness to the act of remembering, and speed to the act of forgetting. To relish, prolong and remember a moment, one moves and acts slowly. On the other hand, one travels fast in order to forget a bad experience. He suggests that serious consideration requires slowness, whilst speed encourages rash decisions and ultimate failure. Possibly identifying with this, the artist Miroslaw Balka said in a recent interview that, “the 21st century is polluted with too many things. Many, many, many things that we don't need, and fast information, so much information…”

Carol Robinson's music in Billows, like Balka's art, provides an antidote to this cultural condition, providing us with a pause, a contemplative space at the centre of a frenzied existence. Like the urban oases of the best city parks, not denying the frenzy, but simply slowing it down, temporarily screening it out, conjuring stillness out of constant movement.

“There is a point where in the mystery of existence contradictions meet; where movement is not all movement and stillness is not all stillness; where the idea and the form, the within and the without, are united; where infinite becomes finite, yet not.”
Rabindranath Tagore

This music has a bare and elegiac quality that is reminiscent sometimes of the cool abstraction of colour-field painting, and sometimes of the hypnotic cinematic experience of wide-open landscapes and skies in films like Terence Malick's Days of Heaven. The sound moves in and out of silence like shimmering fields of colour, stabilizing momentarily, fading, and gradually rearranging itself in a mass that continuously slips, ebbs and flows. Minimal tones and textures advance and recede in an ultra-slow forming, transforming and unforming of chords and harmonic lines like the slow movement of a ship through still water, gliding without resistance.

Despite this music's abstraction and austerity of form it is imbued with human warmth; a sound utterly condensed in its emanation from and evocation of a single human being and the space they occupy; sound that is intensely personal and intimate in its human presence and scale. This is because what you hear is simply a person sitting in a room playing an instrument. Although the instrument is connected by various microphones to a computer that receives and transforms the instrumental sound, there is no overdubbing or other manipulation, merely sound vibrating freely in space, shimmering and floating, reacting to itself as well as to the acoustics of the room and in constant flux with the new instrumental input of the player interacting with it. The critic Dave Hickey defined cool as “minimalism redeemed with eros and atmosphere”. Carol Robinson's Billows generates a seductively gentle ambience, apparently effortless but carefully constructed by means of a sustained rigour. It is warmly sensuous but deeply cool.

Derek Horton
 

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