Dan Warburton, The WIRE #337

Dan Warburton, The WIRE, #337 (March 2012, p.70)

“In making these portraits of places in Aragón,” writes Madrid base American composer and improviser Wade Matthews of this project with local percussionist Luis Tabuenca and ethnomusicologist Ana Maria Alarcón-Jiménez, “we did not set out to derive the sounds from the place, but rather to built the place with the sounds it embodies and others we were making as we listened.” There are no pictures of the local inhabitants, human, amphibian, or insect; nor is this straightforward ‘cinema for the ear’, as the complexity of Matthews’s digital synthesis often transforms his raw field recordings beyond recognition and Tabuenca’s colourful percussion further breaks down any sense of traditional narrative. The reference, then, is not photography, but painting. Both musicians openly acknowledge the influence of the cubist notion of collage, and each of these resulting eight tableaux is intricate and involving, beautifully paced and immaculately sequenced.