ecstasy showered its petals with the full peal of its bells

3" cd
edition: 500
ferns recordings

  1. .ecstasy showered its petals with the full peal of its bells

sound source: a single hand bell
(the title is a quote from georges rodenbach’s book bruges la morte)

  • reviews:
  • This is not the first time that Steve Roden uses the deployment of harmonic bells. However it is more rare, as here, he should be the sole source of his play, concentration in a short composition possibilities of a bell given to the artist during a stay in Paris. Even before listening, format and approach situate remember the three mini-CD that Steve Roden was released on his own label he is a little over ten years, respectively, made from sounds taken from a leg wood, a lamp and a chair. Writing the poem just music, the sound signature of an object under construction harmonious then found in the work of Roden, if not around a single object, at least in its application compared with other . The bell is this return to something unique. Just like Francis Ponge where each p(r)oème each study (or almost) plunged to the bottom of something, Steve Roden plunges into his musical potential. The room starts spinning in a patient. Like many artists of the loop, one enters the circle grabbed by the hair from behind. It integrates perfectly curved gently. Here is a superposition of harmonic whistle of heavy and soft metal scraping. Obedient to the same solicitation, these two textures are like inside and outside the bell, subject to the same stimulus. One and one of these two drivers alternating movements exposure to the ear, after that audio camera focuses on the obverse or the reverse. Once this rate (almost one breath) installed, once rocked the ear, ringing appear festoon soberly, estampillent the poem sound of the bell. Other acts on the metal, just as “sweet”, as known to produce the delicacy of Steve Roden, gradually enter the soundscape, some reappearing then retiring, others are dissolving in the founding couple of sounds. Unlike the huge bells that are some empyrean, the bell turns singing the critical deployment of petals of a repeated form of ecstatic birth. Roden shown, not as it was said some years ago a modest form of genius (genius can not be modest, is absolute genius by definition), but a modest form of genius, one that he always referred to and often achieved, as was recalling Borges’ Ulysses, wearied of wonders, / wept with tenderness, seeing Ithaca / Modest and green. Art is the vast Ithaca / green eternity, not wonders.

    denis boyer / feardrop 15, spring 2010
  • With his latest release, California sound and visual artist Steve Roden has created a fascinating meditation on single sound source, which is in this case a small hand-held bell. Not content to just ring the bell in the typical fashion, Roden elicited sound from it in any way he could, including rubbing the surface of it and tapping the handle. Ultimately, all of the bell’s sounds were combined and electronically manipulated to form a cohesive and beautiful twenty-two-minute piece in which Roden finds the hidden soul of a seemingly common object.

    The most striking aspect of this piece is the variety of sounds that Roden was able to create and collect, keeping in mind their humble source. Everything from ethereal drones, scrapes, and taps to the light wind chime-esque sounds of the bell’s ring works their way into the mix. Really, its hard to believe that there were not scores of instruments put to use, as the piece simultaneously evokes the sounds of stringed instruments, synthesizers, tape effects, and percussion. It’s certainly worth listening to again and again to try and decipher the various sounds and also to fully absorb the beautiful music that Roden was able to produce. 9/10

    Matt Blackall/foxy digitalis