OPTION MAGAZINE
NO 70 -SEP-OCT 1996 ISSUE
CARL STONE * 1196

Herein lies a reworked version of a dance piece which Stone composed in Japan as part of a collaboration with dancer/choreographer Kuniko Kisanuki and sculptor Satoru Shoji. The first of the four sections opens with what could be sampled whale calls and a high-frequency electronic twittering, to which is added a more conventional two-note synthesizer drone pattern. Typically with Stone, though, things are never quite what they seem, and never quite the same from moment to moment. The first section mutates and eventually gives way to samples of some rather aggressive Japanese Taiko-style drumming, subjected of course to Stone's treatments. This short section evolves into a quiet but rather ominous third, with textures and drones which are somewhat more machine-like, and the use of an insistent three-note clicking pattern as a recurring motif. The fourth and final section however is the real tour-de-force, capturing a peculiar interface between the totally alien and the familiar which is almost Stone's trademark. A sampled and manipulated vocal fragment is developed into a complex loop, which first descends in a minor scale and then slides back to the top to start all over again. The looped, treated (Japanese?) female voice is incredibly mournful, enhanced by the entrance of a flute which improvises around the vocal loop. Still later, a male voice adds what sounds like a wistful Japanese folk melody, again in a minor key. The vocal loop is eventually isolated and then slowly fades. The entire CD is highly imaginative, but the last section operates on another level altogether. I have seldom been so moved by a piece of music, and I would not hesitate to proclaim it a work of genius.

Bill Tilland
Option Magazine
# 70 -Sep-Oct 1996 Issue