Download of the Week: Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto

Glass comes very close to the embodiment of a perfect record. Recorded live, in situ, at Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut, Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto turned Johnson's people who live in glass houses into their instrument:
"...the pair fixed contact mics to its glass walls, which they effectively played as an “instrument”, rubbing it with rubber gong mallets to generate delicate tones which they combined with a sympathetic palette of singing glass bowls, crotales, keyboards and mixers."
I am reminded of a similar work, another record that comes close to being a perfect record of an event in celebration of the then (1984) reconstructed Berlin Martin-Gropius-Bau. Musicians were asked to create performances taking into account the buildings unique spatial qualities. Fritz Hauser transformed that space into a time warp of percussive delight.

Litening to Glass on its own, unattached to Johnson's Glass House, there's a simple quavering beauty that floats weightlessly in your mind, offering a reprieve from the weight of the day. Placing that experience in context, the work resounds with a greater sense of purpose, as if the musicians turned glass into shards of whispers.

I bought the LP because its clear-as-glass vinyl brings a piece of the place home. Lovely.

Glass is available, as LP or download, from Boomkat. Listen here: