Andreas Wenzlova - "The Drone Organ" (Orphan Sounds 2001, 007)

From Aural Innovations #22 (January 2003)

I've not heard of Andreas Wenzlova before but he's known as part of a German ensemble called Mahatok. The Drone Organ - "a pair of ten-foot long conical tubes that sit, just like your ears, on the opposite sides on your head" - is a 40 minute minimal work that is described by Wenzlova as transforming the whole city into an orchestra with infinite players. This is very slow moving stuff, changing almost imperceptibly as it lumbers along. Wenzlova sets a pattern with the aptly named Drone Organ that serves as the foundation for the piece. Close listening reveals intermittent electronics, static, miscellaneous sounds, and vague crowd samples. It's a tough listen for 40 minutes, but I did find myself at times tuning into the vibe of the drones, as bumpy as the ride may be. And some of the electronics sound at times like a flock of birds chirping in harmony and at others like a meteor shower, which made for an interesting combination with the drones. Fans of highly minimal works may find something to enjoy here.

For more information you can visit the Orphan Sounds web site at:
Contact via snail mail c/o Jeff Gburek; 601 11th St NW; Albuquerque, NM 87102.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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