Portals of Distortion
Portals of Distortion
"While in Canada, I spent much time watching and photographing the ice formations on the Banff River, observing the changes of various weather and lighting conditions on the ice. Deep slabs of ice, split and creaking, revealed glimpses of darkness and running water beneath. These frozen gateways offer an aural analogy: portals of distortion, cracks in the fabric of the sonic world. Beyond, we catch an elusive glimpse of the turbulent music of the imagination." -Matthew Burtner
This recording features six works by the Alaskan composer Matthew Burtner written between 1996 and 1998. The pieces fuse recent developments in music technology with aesthetic principles inspired by natural sonic environments. Primitive musical sources such as stones are juxtaposed with instrumental writing influenced by techniques of digital audio synthesis. Computer generated sounds are inspired by the compelling expressiveness of natural materials, further melding ancient and newly forged elements in a unique and harmonious sound world.
Included on this recording are the works "Split Voices" for amplified saxophone (tenor/soprano) and computer-generated tape, "Mists" for computer noise controller and stone trio, "Incantation S4" for amplified tenor saxophone and computer-generated tape, "Fern" for computer-generated tape, "Glass Phase" for polyrhythmicon / electronics, and the title track, "Portals of Distortion" for nine tenor saxophones. In Burtner's work imagination and environment merge to create music that conveys a strong organic sense, music whose properties are as diverse and dynamic as the stark Alaskan wilderness where the composer spent his youth.
JOHNS HOPKINS MAGAZINE
"There is weather in his compositions, as well as landscape: open, brooding, sometimes ominous, often wintry...His compositions have a way of insinuating themselves into your mind. Listen to them enough and you begin to think and take in the world as he does. You hear a gust of wind or the far-off sound of machinery and you think "that sounds like something from a Burtner composition". - Dale Keiger
ARRAY International Computer Music Association
"This innovative CD makes a valuable and unique contribution to the existing repertoire of electroacoustic music."
INK 19 "...almost as relaxing as the little white pills I get twice a day or I lose my TV privileges...undeniably fascinating noise." - Carl Glaser
"Some of the most eerily effective electroacoustic music I've heard." - Andy Hamilton
20TH CENTURY MUSIC
"There is a horror and beauty in this music that is most impressive." - Crystal Elizabeth