August 26 2002
by Richard S. Ginell,
Carl Stone Still Rocking With His Sonic Style

Once a familiar fixture in Southern California new-music circles, electronic music composer Carl Stone now spends most of his time in Japan, with pit stops in San Francisco. He did, however, return to the old neighborhood Saturday night, stopping by the Schindler House to unfurl some of his latest sonic collages. And it is remarkable music too, a technologically liberated descendant of musique concrete, in which Stone builds unusually coherent structures from found and natural sounds on his Mac G3 laptop computer.

The most absorbing piece, "Nak Won," was also the most rigorously organized of the lot, where dueling drones were slowly overcome by what sounded like pop organ fragments and melted into a deliciously amorphous mass. Yet the drones eventually reassert themselves amid the complexity, and the piece winds down in reverse order, almost like a palindrome. It's the work of an assured master of his chosen esoteric idiom.

Following "Kreutz," an ethereal intermezzo, Stone offered two excerpts from "Guelaguetza,"--the first of which featured rapid retro sounds that took us back 50 years to the early days of musique concrete, while the second was the equivalent of pressing the fast- forward button on a CD player.

Though the architecture of "Darul Kabap" was more difficult to grasp, one could approach it like a free-jazz improvisation-- beginning with a jagged bass line, loading up with Indian and Japanese fragments and passionate voices zapped by electronic slaps at high volume.

By then, even the usually impassive Stone was physically jostled about by this frenetic music, and passing aircraft seemed like integral parts of the puzzle.

Credit: Special to the Times

-- Richard S. Ginell
Los Angeles Times
August 26 2002