Andreas Bick – Fire and Frost Pattern (CD Gruenrekorder)

Somewhere in the liner notes one can read that the ‘artistic process is primarily concerned with making audible the ‘secret’ sounds hidden in nature’ and that very well can be read as the mission of Germany’s Gruenrekorder label in general. Fire, water, earth and air were the 4 elements identified by the ancient Greeks as a first attempt to describe and explain matter surrounding us. As this could not explain everything, alchemists added aether as a fifth element to help their quest for wealth.  

In this continued search, Bick almost creates a master’s thesis, based on a lot of field work. And imagining how that field work must have looked like, an underwater laboratory comes into mind, with specialized instruments able to register micro-tectonic rumblings, that are normally impossible to hear by human beings. Most of the things that are going on are hardly above normal audible levels as these are microtonal structures, found on a journey through fire and ice, with much patience and a greatly developed sense for details. Most of the sound phenomena on the two tracks (one is called Fire Pattern and the other is Frost Pattern) find their basis in ordinary physics, like air vibrating inside glass tubes heated by a gas flame, the sound of alcohol igniting inside flasks or field recordings in the vicinity of a volcano creating contrast with sound waves moving through ice and the sound of snowflakes as they fall and touch the ground. The effect that these patterns have, are similar with experiences in late night mist, when things can unexpectedly show up, more nearby than assumed, disturbing an isolationist feeling. Fire and Frost Pattern should be played only at very high levels to have those droning sonic sculptures appearing as if they were hidden and their latent present shape sublimates as soon as we hear them.  

Yet, with all its details, patience and academic approach there is a analogy with all alchemists attempts up to now at least; Bick is not able to transform simple matter into gold. PvdG.