Artists: Steve Roach &
Vidna Obmana
Album: Circles and Artifacts

Label: The Contemporary Harmonic

Circles and Artifacts
Circles and Artifacts is a collaboration between photographer Martina Verhoeven, poet Linda Kohanov and electronic musicians Steve Roach and Vidna Obmana. The hours worth of music on this CD-ROM can be spun on a regular CD player, but to get the full auditory and visual experience one must utilize a personal computer. It is in this environment that the vision of the authors becomes apparent.

As the music is ethereal and amorphous, it is Verhoeven's fantastic photography that is the focus of the disc. Images slowly wash from one fascinating still to the next. The intricate content of each page is compelling. No doubt, countless hours will be spent in an attempt to make some earthbound reference to the images, or, for viewers with a different orientation, merely enjoying the emotions evoked with each successive wash.

The music realized for the disc is continuous and slowly evolves through three vague areas. Listening without the stunning visuals, one can easily become lost in the atomsphere. The music does indeed stand on its own, but the listener will not; as the dark timbres and subtle dynamics of the piece are capable of disarming even the most determined insomniac.

Together, the music and visuals augment one another perfectly. The music fills the listening environment and adds even more mystery to the creative visuals with the photography bringing context and a sense of place, however imaginary, to the music. Circles and Artifacts is the first of its kind, a new medium and contains an intelligent message and a serious experience.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   25 October 2000

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