Lethe: Catastrophe Point #7 & #8

Lethe: Catastrophe Point #7 & #8
Label: Invisible Birds
Product Code: ib003
Reward Points: 1
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CD 1: Catastrophe Point #7
Sound materials recorded at Arsenic in Lausanne, Switzerland.
 
CD 2: Catastrophe Point #8
Sound materials recorded at a former power station in Edinburgh, Scotland.
 
Liner notes by Giancarlo Toniutti.
 
 
"Kuwayama Kiyoharu is the man behind Lethe. Under his own name he works within the 
field of improvised music, playing cello and electronics, in a duo called Kuwayama-Kijima 
and as Lethe he creates music that deals with large spaces with lots of natural 
reverberation, such as abandoned warehouses, Shinto temples, mausoleums and
factories. These works are called 'catastrophe point' and on this double cd we find two of 
them. one (from 2004) was recorded at Arsenic in Lausanne, Switzerland and the other at 
an ex-power station in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2006. Inside such spaces, Kuwayama goes 
about to record the empty space, picking up large reverberations with the tiniest of sound 
information. Found metal is being scraped, hit and dragged across the floor. Now that may 
seem like a 'heavy' thing, but if you listen to these pieces, there is a great sense of 
'emptiness' in these recordings. It stays far away, like being removed far away from the 
microphone(s). I suspect he picks up his 'action' with various microphones and then mixes 
these together when it comes to releasing such works. Its hard to say (and no doubt not 
really necessary) what this is, this music of Lethe. Ambient? Perhaps, but not as we 
commonly know it. Experimental? Surely. Action music, performance art? No doubt
that's true as well. You could wonder why two discs. There are some interesting differences 
between both works. The Scotland work is very sparse: an empty space, a few sounds (in all 
three tracks). The Switzerland piece has some sort of drone/alarm/buzz going on, with lots of
more activity. Towards the end of the first part, the space around is removed and we have a 
very clear picture of all sorts of acoustic activity going on. In the second part a 'clear' piano 
pops up. Maybe we have to keep the time frame in mind: in 2004 Lethe was perhaps more 
focused on 'music' in a big space, whereas in 2006 he was more interested in the space 
itself. I am not entirely sure. Of the two, 'Catastrophe #7' would count as the more musical 
one, whereas 'Catastrophe #8' would count as a piece of sound art. For either drone lovers, 
improvised music fans and art goers, there is something for everyone in this quite unique 
sound world of Lethe."  (Frans de Waard - Vital Weekly)
Release Info
Format CD x 2
Country USA

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