Across three discs Live on Star's End 2021-2022 (196'30") presents the Chuck van Zyl live to air concerts of 7 February 2021 and 7 August 2022, plus his 26 March 2021 performance for SoundQuest Fest 2021. Each occasion built on the one that came before, and offered meaningful opportunities to advance his craft, further his artistry, and venture into a new sonic frontier.
In discharging audio from electricity works by Chuck van Zyl sing the song of the synthesizer. Searching through the cosmos, as well as his own imagination, he plays in the true spirit of exploration. Each of the realizations documented on Live on Star's End 2021-2022 builds toward a destination unknown at the outset. Beginning with nothing more than the spark of an idea, the wall outlet powers his instruments, while the logic of improvisation, the force of emotion, and materiality of sound provide the direction and form. This album supposes that the mind is still big, that thoughts are still vast, and offers no option to think small. After a deep listening it will be hard not to hear this strange magic everywhere.
Throughout this epic release we find a machine pulse propelling scales of notes. Radiating with each tight turn into widening arcs of mechanized certainty, sequencer lines solidly motor on. An unconstrained affair, the music winds out in cycling patterns of melodic invention - skipping and echoing with a determined energy. Thoughtful and as tightly coiled as ever, notes fly in and out of the mix, rising and receding in practiced precision. The assembly of tones and textures, somewhere between sonic storm and soothing sigh, stutters, sputters, then whispers a tale of electronic circuits dreaming.
From the sculpted and soft to the ambiguously toned, at times these live sets use negative space to delineate form - placing the listener on intimate terms with the present moment. With an ethereal human harmony hanging gently in the air, a beautiful animation is brought to an often impassive music.
Live on Star's End 2021-2022 will be difficult to abandon to the background. The coolly controlled concerts conjure a rare dream logic - a kind of beauty which always passes too quickly. Yet, from these monumental acts of invention comes the theme of intimacy. In his unforced experimentation Chuck van Zyl discovers hidden affinities. From the raw and power packed on down to the subtle and dulcet, these works recall the spirit of the Berlin-School - and the charged sparks of an exploratory, voltaic realm.
Live on Star's End 2021-2022 was released by Synkronos Music on 18 March 2023 to coincide with the Chuck van Zyl concert for Passages - Ambient Channels and Crossings.
- From the Press Release 18 March 2023