MACHINEFABRIEK: Sol Sketches (Machinefabriek)


Posted on Aug 16th 2011 01:09 am

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Machinefabriek: Sol Sketches

Sol Sketches
Machinefabriek 2011
21 Tracks. 53mins34secs

Boomkat: CD | Norman Records CD

Two years ago, Machinefabriek’s Rutger Zuydervelt was contacted by filmmaker Chris Teerink to score a documentary he was planning on American artist Sol LeWitt, requesting that the music be an integrant part of the film concept, on a par with the images. While the documentary is still a work in progress, Zuydervelt began researching LeWitt’s work and found his output so inspiring that, within a matter of days, he had come up with hours of recordings before any image had even been shot. After editing this wealth of material into forty or so compositions, he selected twenty-one to be released as a stand-alone project. These are only sketches for the soundtrack, hence the title, and are not expected to appear in Teerink’s documentary in these forms, yet they are significant enough in the Machinefabriek canon to be granted a release.

Zuydervelt’s use of the piano as primary instrument here is a reference to the work of Morton Feldman, a personal friend of LeWitt, and to the collaborative output of Alta Nato and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Using only sparse melodies and arrangements, underlined by discreet electronic textures and processing, Zuydervelt reflects in part LeWitt’s involvement in both conceptual art and minimalism by developing themes that often echo themselves or are built in such a way that they appear different to what they actually are. The pieces are, for the most part, short vignettes which flicker just long enough to get noticed, their bare aspect made even more obvious by the delicate textural touches which just about fill the gaps between notes. Melodies are often loose and fragmented, but Zuydervelt occasionally builds one up into a more structured formation. Often though, they vanish all too quickly, wiped away by the next piece.

This succession of short compositions of similar appearance rapidly creates an illusion of continuity through the whole record. It is easy to lose track of where exactly one is here, each piece resonating with themes which, while totally unique, are intricately linked, whether it is a single note repeated in varying sequences at different points of the record, or a particular weave in the sonic fabric of a piece which appears again, slightly altered, elsewhere. Very much as LeWitt’s work often plays with illusion and perception, Zuydervelt creates patterns and motifs which appear as more than they really are, but it is this impression which holds the record together and gives it its consistency.


Boomkat: CD | Norman Records CD

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