Illogical Harmonies – Volume

(Another Timbre)

The exercise of listening to the concurrent unfolding of unbroken pitches is perfect to create a mental sphere where, given the right conditions, nobody can touch you. The ears embrace a dilation containing numerous micro-components; the brain places the sounds exactly where they are meant to be according to a unique aural holography. One hears a pulsation behind the nape of the neck for a few seconds; gradually, another coalition of upper partials shifts the position of the acoustic phenomenon towards a higher point, twenty inches over the forehead. It’s like recognizing diverse tonalities of light without actually observing anything but the inner self, unconsciously attempting to decode the frequency cycles of its resonance.

Volume features a number of developmental instants enhanced by compositional rigor. Double bassist Mike Majkowski and violinist Johnny Chang — aka Illogical Harmonies — know their instruments inside and out, the awareness of both each other and the surrounding space nourished by countless hours of spontaneous interplay. The control of nuances is essential for this music to live and function properly, a single arco stroke revealing hundreds of particles contributing to the slightest diversification of a tone. The sum of those imperceptible changes enriches a score whose apparent simplicity is, in reality, the result of a process of riddance of redundant constituents. Brief silences and two-note seesaws highlight the implications of a core-strengthening stillness.

Distant terms of comparisons may exist: in short glimpses, some of Nikos Veliotis’ early work came to mind. Whatever the association, this record is a stabilizing infusion of technical soberness and profound intuition. Standing at the centre of a hypothetical EAI/Wandelweiser/reductionist triangle, it blends the finest scents from those categories in 55 minutes that literally flew away at every spin, as we remained focused on crucial issues. Of the unspeakable kind.