At the risk of coming off sounding like a yokel, I would have to go out on a limb and describe the device Artur Nowak uses to create his guitar based, digital cut-up recording ?Guitar Granulizer,? as a gizmo. Ok the truth is out, I?m a yokel, now can we move on?
Comprised of 50 one-minute tracks, Nowak utilizes a type of software called Granulizer, which is based on a software package called Reaktor, to create his own instrument with which to digitally manipulate his prerecorded samples of electric guitar. He is able to create sounds that are familiar and alien, beautiful and jarring, and often all of these things at the same time.
None of this is a bad thing. In fact, the overall feel of the CD is one of explosive creative energy, which has plenty of room to breathe in a fragmented format, and also one that still holds together as a singular piece. The CD case recommends the listener play the tracks in random order, and it makes sense given the digital aesthetics of the entire project. There is a controlled playfulness about the project that I enjoy, and it?s somewhat meditative for me to digest this work in one sitting. In fact, despite the built-in structural limitations of the work, Nowak is more than able to pack a ton of moods and atmospheres into all of these miniature pieces, without ever becoming redundant or tedious.
The packaging of the CD is as impressive as the music. Nowak employs the talents of The Tag Artist, who also uses a Reaktor instrument, to design the multiple layered sheets of Vellum on which is printed a number of digitally composed line drawings. The artwork works together with the concept of the music to represent the digital dissection and presentation of data around which this work is constructed.
Overall, this is a strong work, and I hope to hear more from this Polish artist in the future.
As a side note: I would like to add that this concept reminds me of the annual fundraising concert called ?60 Minutes of Minutes,? that David Dove and the Pauline Oliveros? Deep Listening Institute puts on every year here in Houston. The event hosts sixty musicians, of all stripes and disciplines, which each have exactly a minute to perform whatever they wish. Sure, Nowak?s work is much different in execution and intent, but I thought I would throw that out there anyway. You know?Yokel. 7/10 -- John Cramer (27 June, 2006)