Yuri Kalendarev - Sound Sculptures (CD Die Schachtel)
Appropriately enough, former engineer at the Leningrad Aircraft Institute uses metal compounds (in this case bronze) to produce sound with. Hammered and fired into large hanging sheets that he calls 'Sound Plates', they produce lower frequencies to create a resonance within the room that has a physical impact on the listener. These are quiet, almost drone-like notes that swell and subside in their own time. It isn't volume that has the effect, it's purely the frequencies. These dwell and shift around the room.
If there is a parallel to be drawn, the initial striking of the plates that unleash the heavy tones are reminiscent of Coil's 'How to Destroy Angels.' Where Coil's recording was just that, a recording, Russian born Kalendarev's work is more an installation cum performance. Oh to be in the room when he creates these meditative sounds.
There's a touch of magic in the air. These heavy bronze plates made by hand and then struck by hand, come to life. These full-bodied pure tones spread like ghosts through the room, slipping between the atoms of your body, travelling through the other side and fading away to who knows where.
There are no details on when or where this 28 minute long 10-plate performance was recorded but I'm guessing it was recent one done in his studio in Italy. It's three tracks long and comes presented like a hardback book. Seriously. Two very thick screen-printed boards are book bound together. The front cover features his drawing 'SHMA' (don't ask, I have no idea either.) Think gold-and-white-messy-paintbrush-mark. It's limited to 300 numbered copies
it's also available as a one-sided nickel LP in an edition of 25. Yes nickel as in the metal. That's a far more appropriate medium. Priced at €300, it's part of the label's much appreciated 'Art Series', but if you can't stretch to that then the impressively presented (and affordable) cd version is worthwhile alternative. HM