Many Hands

Australia’s Anthony Pateras’ productivity shows no sign of diminishing: he composes for ensembles, commissioners and collaborators aplenty; he has just passed the halfway mark in the 15-part Immediata series he initiated in 2012 and is an astounding pianist, whether cooking up a storm with drummer Max Kohane in hardcore duo Pivixki (they dial into the energy Tony Williams and Cecil Taylor cooked up on ‘Morgan’s Motion’) or on Blood Stretched Out (IMM008), his first solo in a decade, which is no less generous nor elegant a display of power. The first of two exemplary live recordings – ‘Blood Stretched Out’ – stretches out for over forty minutes in a rainfall of Strumming Music-style overtones that traverses the keyboard like Charlemagne Palestine peregrinating perpetually in a time of tectonic unease. Though a more modest 35 minutes, ‘Chronochromatics’ is a more challenging proposition; ‘an extended study of parallel theme and variations’ full of explosions and light-speed runs; inventive violence of the Tom & Jerry variety, were they rebooted for our apocalyptic times.

By dramatic contrast, Beauty Will Be Amnesiac Or Will Not Be At All (IMM009) – his enhanced take on Xenakis’ Pleïades – is marked by a house-of-cards fragility and collaborative fortitude. The four-parter features textured improvisations from electroacoustician Jérôme Noetinger and Sydney’s Synergy Percussion ensemble making ornate patterns on skin- and metal-surfaced instruments including Xenakis’ very own, 17-pitch microtonal metallophone, the Sixxen. It opens with remote blasts that propel tides of tearing tones into a gentle wash of orbiting percussion, the whole gathering momentum with monumental patience. Synergy’s understated playing of this cadaverous construction is absorbing, which sensitivity makes Part IV’s rude discharges of digital squelch all the more disturbing.

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