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Nicolas Bernier - Frequencies (a / fragments) [Line - 2014]

Frequencies (a / fragments) presents the listener with a lengthy slice of minimal  sine wave based electro acoustic soundscaping, which is focused around a series of tuning forks.  The release comes in the form of CD on Los Angles based minimal sound work/audio installation themed label Line, which is of course is run by respected electro-acoustic minimalist Richard Chartier.

The CD takes in a single thirty three minute track that  is based around a  basic sound generation system. The system consists of a series of custom made devices which find computer-controlled solenoids activate a range of  different tuning forks.


When the track first starts up it rather brought to mind the more stripped back melancholic tinged feel of one of Morton Feldman’s more stark ‘n’ skeletal pattern based works, as the tracks opening few mintues are built around slowly tolling & wavering vibe like pitches . But as the track progresses it starts dwelling more & more on sustained pitch like frequencies, which at times feel like they may be stretching above the limits of the human hearing. Yet through-out the track still keeps subtle altering both it’s pitch shifting sustains, and new tonal editions….all of which creates a slow moving yet eventful & rewarding slice of  minimal electro acoustic sound-scaping

Though on  paper the whole  idea of a piece based around  computer controlled tuning forks may sound rather academic, dry & emotionless. The reality of is that Bernier creates quite a compelling, haunting and often emotional piece of work that really blurs the lines between electro & acoustic sound-making. 

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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