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Dr. Ox – “Dr. Ox” – [Cycling 74]

Dr. Ox is the Norwegian experimental music duo of Tanja Orning (cello) and Natasha Barrett (computer). Tanja Orning has had extensive studies in classical music and was principal cellist in the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra from 1994 to 2000. Since then she’s been doing more experimental projects, collaborating mainly with other artists on synthesizer and computer. Composer Natasha Barrett has done sound art, installations, and traditional works. Their project, Dr. Ox, began in 2005 as an improv project and according to the liner notes of this self-titled release from 2008,

“Dr. Ox works with real-time sampling, transformation and a hierarchy of compositional building blocks in an immediate and ‘live’ performance-art.”

Parts of this are quite hectic, with the sounds of scraping and heavily played strings. There are high frequencies, whistle-like sounds, rumbles, and also some recognizable cello. Interspersed at times are water-like noises, not only dripping, but also bubbling, most notably on “Motif of Myo1p,” which sounds to me like a boat at sea, with waves, scrapes, wind, “normal” cello sounds, and leading to a crescendo with spooky noises and a hectic conversation between cello and computer-generated sounds.

This should be of interest to not only those with a penchant for experimental music, but also to those who love classical and improv of all sorts. The scientific track names are also quite evocative, from “Zinc Finger” to “Beta Receptor” to “Meiotic Recombination.” It’s a nice blend of the natural and the man-made.

  • Reviewed by lombard on June 15, 2009 at 8:13 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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