Steve Roden | Four Possible Landscapes

Trente Oiseaux | CD

Despite often operating at the edges of audibility, Steve Roden's compositions are never failing in their generosity. Quiet they may be, but this does not preclude a lack of action. Far from it. Unlike next week's Top 40 Zeitgeist, Roden's works bear the hallmark of careful, sustained attention to detail that will offer rewards long after yesterday's hook-filled pop songs have fallen from grace.

'Star Cluster (First Bench)' opens to a ticking refrain underpinning the most beautiful of melodies whose appeal lies in its almost incompleteness. Layers of sound, each more subtle than the last, slowly define an aural landscape around which the composition focusses; simultaneously clear and yet, paradoxically, also incredibly rich.

As if this weren't sufficient, 'Resonantlightones' follows with the most delicately poised tones; at a fraction over eighteen minutes it is so gently complex that it never loses interest despite its minimal means. 'Four Possible Landscapes' closes, where it opens, with 'Reflection. Refraction (Third Bench)' a quiet meditation of pops and clicks whose soft resonances are nothing short of the perfect ending which ultimately, and appropriately, fades to nothing...

[CM]



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