Following on from a series of stunning live performances recently, Canadian sound artist, Tim Hecker presents us a with a 21 minute distillation of work from the Norberg festival in Sweden. For me, Hecker’s music sounds like the aural equivalent of a Stan Brackhage art film, as he re-works and dramatically transforms the fundamental fabric and texture of the originating sounds, employing disorder and error as forms of expression. Norberg, Sweden is a heavily overdriven slab of sound, a super-granulated textural work, that typifies Hecker’s work of late.
Melody, depth and transparency are themes to be teased out, unwrapped or briefly spied here. Hecker appears to be gradually approaching an essentialism which, although made up of a relatively limited number of parts, actively refuses reductivism. The experience of listening to this piece might be compared to the act of viewing from a distance a series of Monet’s weather and light studies (the Haystacks, the Poplars or Rouen Cathedral). The longer the gaze is maintained, the more the colours vibrate and the forms shimmer between abstraction and figuration. The lack of any form of overt rhythmic instrumentation further underlines this impression, causing the music to float like a mirage or apparition. As we near the grand finale of the piece, any form of musicality evaporates into pure digital noughts and ones, as Hecker’s sampler gets trapped in an endless gated loop. A brief, but extremely enlightening glimpse into the world of a truly profound sound artist..Room 40 have done it again. Brilliant. BGN