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Regler – “Regel #5” – [Nueni Records]

Louie Caliente   4/17/2016   A Library, CD

regler

40-minute abstract and overwhelmingly silent piece composed by Manfred Werner and performed by Mattin and Anders Bryngelsson of Regler.

The entire score consists of the following quote from an essay by Walter Benjamin:

“through excessive fatigue i had thrown myself on my bed in my clothes in the brightly-lit room, and had at once, for a few seconds, fallen asleep”

The duo of Relger take this score very literally. In the first few minutes, they can be heard quietly setting up their equipment and getting comfortable. Stools squeak and instrument cases open and close. They stretch and cough. Then, they fall asleep. The rest of the piece consists of slow breathing, moist lips opening and closing, the occasional sigh, and the sound of the room.

The work blurred the boundaries between my listening environment and the recording itself. At multiple times I had to check my CD player to make sure it was still on. Did somebody’s hand just fall to their side (that would be exciting!), or was it my cat in the next room? What is that faint rumble? Is it just my neighbor’s AC unit? Or maybe an ungrounded wire in my stereo. I notice the sound of my own breath, and the saliva in my mouth, and it is deafening.

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