Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wisteriax - Static Voyage

Wisteriax - Track 5

Wisteriax is one Karen S. Langlie from Lowell, Massachusetts. Static Voyage is a free record she put out via Infinite Sector (feel free to go here and download it).

Wisteriax makes music almost entirely sourced from her cello, although Static Voyage is listed as having "cello, shortwave, loops and FX." So, yeah. Cello. I'm pretty sure the shortwave part is about the sporadic radio transmissions that pop up every now and then on the record but the rest (loops, FX) is probably based on the cello in some way, shape or form.

So, remember that Greg Kelley record I reviewed a little while back, Self-Hate Index? And how it was just one dude making lots of noise with a trumpet? Well, Static Voyage is a lot like that, except the artist is of the female variety and her talents lie in strings instead of brass. And Voyage never gets quite as abrasive and noisy as Self-Hate but we're still pretty much on the same page here.

Static Voyage is one of the most literal titles for a record I've heard in a while. Not that that's a bad thing, though. Just the opposite. It lets you know what you're getting yourself into beforehand. This is the type of music I'd expect to hear if I was traveling through space in a faux-1950s sci-fi B-movie.

Of course it's only appropriate for such a voyage to be one loooong song (74 minutes) and it's also very fitting that it was recorded for the FZC sound/noise installation at Burning Man in 2003. I don't want to call this New Age or hippie music, because it definitely isn't. But at the same time, I get that kind of feeling from it, for no particular reason. Maybe it's the whole "space" thing because Static Voyage is pretty spacey. And spacious. So space -> New Age, New Age -> hippie, I don't think I'm that off base.

Anyway, my point is is that even though I get certain feelings from this album that I normally don't associate with good music, I still like Static Voyage. It's interesting and unique. I'm always up for hearing new sounds from traditional instruments and Wisteriax definitely delivers.

She's playing a few shows in the Boston area within the next month or so. The most interesting one is her performance at the 119 Gallery in Lowell on November 16th where she'll play an improvised soundtrack to Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film La Belle Et La BĂȘte (known as Beauty And The Beast to us non-French speakers). You can find the rest of her upcoming dates (and listen to some other tunes) on her Myspace page.

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