Artist: Richard Pinhas
Album: Event and Repetitions

Label: Cuneiform

Event and Repetitions Richard Pinhas
Timeless guitar innovator, Richard Pinhas, stresses process and structure on his album Event and Repetitions. Using guitar and electronic processing equipment, Pinhas builds, not only walls of sound, but floor and ceiling and a few windows too - into which we can make out this artist's intellect and spirit.

Event and Repetitions is made up of five pieces that easily extend between formless ambient music and edgey experimental improvisations. This music relates to cerebral pursuits as there is no traditional rhythm section or catchy melodic hooks to warm up to - the album's emotional content must be found in the subtle changes in harmony and intensity of timbre, as this music is nearly beyond the human scale.

The opening track, "EFRIM", clocks in at over 25 minutes. During the first few seconds we hear the sound of a guitar being strummed. This is the first and last point at which we will encounter anything recognizable from the acoustic world. This piece builds sustained tones of mellow guitar buzzes that rise, repeat and reduce back into a bright, tingling foundation of sound. Occassionally we are treated to some of Pinhas' classic fluid guitar leads; the serpentine melodies soar, then unwind back into the soundstream. "The ICS" unfolds patiently. Notes sustain and release in such a way as to slowly shift the harmonic and emotional balance of the piece; cacophony recedes into tonality, darkness into luminosity, resolve into dissonance... one note at a time, almost imperceptibly. This track shows us the fascinating and endless permutations of Pinhas' music and the technology that gives his vision a voice. "GSYBE" (28:35) demonstrates how events produced on the guitar can be filtered, stretched, shifted, twisted, tangled and otherwise digitally manipulated in real time (this album was recorded live in the studio) into something completely unrecognizable from the original - and how just one guy can make such a very large yet detailed sound.

The dense drones present on Event and Repetitions seem electronic in origin, but Pinhas enjoys the responsiveness of an electric guitar as a sound source and the programability of the many levels of effects its output is routed through. His method of realizing music provides minute control over every aspect of the endless repetition and variations of themes and ideas that are the major elements of his music, a situation that is as equally absorbing to Pinhas as it is to his audience.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   1 November 2002

| Reviews |