Various Artists, Austral Voices

John Schaefer

By John Schaefer

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Haunting sounds from unlikely sources.

"For telegraph wires, tuning forks, computer driven piano, psaltery, whirly, cello, synthesizer and ruined piano," claims the album cover, and while those unlikely noisemakers are all here, they're not all together. I mean, c'mon, it's not like they're a bunch of weirdos down there. Journeys on the Winds of Time I by Alan Lamb is an electronic soundscape generated by the sounds of disused telegraph wires vibrating in the Outback. Three Inverse Genera by ex-pat American Warren Burt explores tuning (specifically ancient Greek) by using multiple tuning forks. Sarah Hopkins contributes two musical meditations that combine a New Agey mysticism with a post-Cageian love of the physical properties of sound. And the final Nallan Void by Ross Bolleter, in the best Cage mode, uses a ruined piano at the Nallan sheep station in the Outback, reveling in the sound of this great Western technology as it returns to the natural materials that made it.