MONTY ADKINS Four Shibusa (CD Audiobulb)

Shibusa is the Japanese name given to the concept of beauty and simplicity being inherent in everyday objects and, of course, is used to suitably describe the four pieces which here form the latest album by Monty (a.k.a. Matthew) Adkins.

Forged from a year-long collaboration with clarinettists Heather Roche and Jonathan Sage, Adkins has hewn a sombre electroacoustic setting whereby shifting textures and penumbral murmur underpin the moody gestures of the wind instruments. Swaying softly between the virtually atonal and what at times hints at the rubbing of metallic plates into shapes more often found in musique concrete, the overall feel is one of a soft-focus stare into a mirror in the corner of a barely lit room.

Having not heard any of Adkinsí previous work, I donít know how this compares, but it is clear that his involvement over the years with the likes of the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre and the UKís Sonic Arts Network must have helped inform it. As, equally, somebody who has concomitantly made something of a name for himself in Europe during the past decade or two via several competition wins and his branching out into multimedia projects, Adkins certainly commands a modicum of respect.

The music presented on Four Shibusa, as insular and yet engagingly molten as it remains throughout, seems like a fine way of getting oneself acquainted with Montyís vision. Fantastic work. RJ

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