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Album Review

Gibson, John – “Traces” – [Innova/American Composers]

Naysayer   1/3/2017   A Library, CD

John Gibson is many things: musician, composer, multi-instrumentalist, professor, winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship among many other awards, academic. He is interested in electro acoustic sounds and their interplay. “Traces” is his recording looking at 12 years of his work and ideas. The seven selections are like listening to a kaleidoscope, if that was possible, with shards of sounds flashing past or gently merging into one another. At moments it may pause, affording a look, a listen to grasp what is heard. Then it moves on again, unique but with a connection to what was heard before. The selections use a variety of sounds, some from piano, trumpet, strings, trombone, the electronic manipulation of these sounds and fragments of these sounds or fragments of sounds interplaying with the acoustic instruments, electronic glitches and swooshes. There are samples from nature and from urban settings mixed in and played along with. It is all so very complex, sharp, crystal like. Pristine in its haunting beauty. Superb.

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