Last year, a local science museum presented a show that demonstrated, using art-like, interactive exhibits, how seemingly random natural phenomenon create patterns over time. It sounds like much the same dynamic is at work on SURGES/SUSPENSIONS, COMME TOUJOURS (Shih Shih Wu Ai SSWA 7-9). The musicians react to the moment, interacting subtly with each other as well as with the mechanics of their instruments, trying to find that sound unique to the instant. Taking any particular minute or two of this session, the listener would note the quirky, original textures used, but may wonder if it added up to anything. As the pieces evolve, they gain resonance from the accumulation of the preceding improvisitory play. Of course, that requires the listener to become part of the process. Music like this empowers the listener to become active in shaping the music. Left in the background, the passive listener interprets it as noise. But listened to with the concentration it demands, it becomes the kind of sound that helps keep the mundane noise – including much of what passes for music – of contemporary life at bay.
- David Dupont Cadence (12/99)