Canadian Tim Olive here with Eye Hill, Arm River (MRM60), on the label Minimal Resource Manipulation run by Matt Atkins in London…we always welcome Tim’s releases on his own label, but it’s nice to see him move away from the chipboard covers that are standard for him and show us one of his colour artworks on the cover, a postcard of some lonely turret enhanced by hand tinting and collage. “Manipulation” of “minimal resources” happens to be one of Olive’s fortes in his music, and on this occasion he’s not even “playing” a recognisable instrument, thus placing ten thousand pedantic music fans in a conundrum as he wields tuning forks, metal resonators, magnetic pickups, spring reverb and other such trowel-like devices…plus there’s use of tape loops and blank cassettes, and the faithful octave divider doing whatever it does under his small but powerful left foot (I’m assuming it’s a foot pedal).
Through most of this obsessive noise, I feel we’re getting the after-shocks of any given piece of vibrating metal, the resulting waves fed through layers of philosophical thought and theological debate until they’re recast as abstract propositions. One might imagine it as a series of essays on bells and carillons, but instead of being researched by an expert campanologist, the subject is rethought by a scientist who thinks we could harness the power of bells to do other things, such as grow vegetables or travel into outer space. We do all of these things very slowly, while crawling inside a large and capacious drain pipe that’s about 56 miles long.
In short, another excellent episode of unique sound processing musical performance. (23/03/2022)