Posted on Feb 1st 2012 01:35 am
Robert Allaire 2011
05 Tracks. 30mins56secs
Robert Allaire is a Los Angeles-based musician and composer who works primarily in the fields of electro-acoustic and electronic music, providing works for experimental films, shorts and animations as well as interactive media. Besides these, he also creates music for stage performances which often incorporate dance or theatre.
Sacrament was originally created for a dance piece of the same title by fellow LA-based choreographer Natalie Metzger. The piece was premiered in Los Angeles last year. For this, Allaire created a pretty atmospheric half hour soundtrack articulated around five pieces. Working from processed feedback loops filtered through the sound of his own heartbeat and breathing, Allaire offers here quite a sombre organic piece which shifts from the deep introspective calm of the drone structures of What Remains Of Something Forgotten or The Voice Of God to the more tormented grounds of Proselytism, She Rises Without or Deicide/A Thing Not Quite Remembered. Each piece has a very distinct feel, yet their is a strong undercurrent binding them together.
In its most contemplative form, the music is extremely fluid and diaphanous as the drones which form the core of What Remains Of Something Forgotten and The Voice Of God appear to constantly shift in tone and structure. The former, stretching over nearly eight minutes of gently morphing low-end sounds, is brought to life by soft muffled pulses in its second half. Slightly more contrasted and covering a wider register, the latter is at first centred around a warm recurring pattern which becomes progressively clouded as it moves down the scale and is shaken by a series of underground blows in its second half.
This opens the way for the seismic thuds and gritty glitches of closing piece Deicide/A Thing Not Quite Quite Remembered. Once again, the piece appears split in halves, the first sounding like a giant machine slowly grinding everything in its path, the second drifting back into an icy drone-like state over which tiny distortions are sprinkled. Before that, Proselytism and She Rises Without, take on a much more angular approach, their respective structures subjected to earth-shattering pulses, but Allaire approaches the two pieces very differently. Whilst Proselytism threatens to collapse at any moment, its progression impaired by clouds of statics and noises, She Rises Without appears much more linear as he develops an electronic motifs which accommodates glitches much more smoothly.
Whilst clocking at just over thirty minutes, Sacrament makes quite an impression, its desolate soundscapes and the way they are applied proving particularly captivating. Furthermore, if the soundtrack was originally conceived to accompany a dance performance, it actually works extremely well as a standalone piece and truly deserves to be recognised in its own right.