DAVID TOLLEY: PASSING MINIATURES
(Sound Installation on 3 CDs (That Performance Project TPP 1004) from Charles Nodrum Gallery, 267 Church St. Richmond, Vic. 3121, Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or from Spring Works Audio Visual; PO Box 237, Clifton Hill, Vic. 3068, Australia. Email: email@example.com)
Well known for his work in improvised music with both bass and electronics, David Tolley has here produced an installation designed to be played in three rooms on three CD players (each on random shuffle play) and 6 loudspeakers, one sound system per room. The material on the CDs comes from earlier recordings of spontaneous performances with Brigid Burke, Carolyn Connors, Garry Costello, Dur-e Dara, Simone de Haan, Stuart Favilla, Graeme Leak, Nadja Kostich, Roger Pell and Ren Walters, among others. These are combined, mixed, and edited into self-sufficient compositions each under one minute in duration. Forty three miniatures were then placed on each of the three CDs, along with an equal number of silent tracks. The individual compositions are dense, often consisting of several layers, and each having a unique shape. The CDs can be listened to on their own - each miniature is well worth hearing for its own sake, or combined in any form desired. When set up in your house as a three station installation with the relevant equipment, they do indeed provide a quite wonderful listening experience of random interaction and layering, perceived in various relationships of distance. This may result in ambient music, but its an ambient music with bite.
(this review was first published in Chroma)