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CD Review: Textures and Pulsations 

click to enlarge (2012, Ictus Records)
  • (2012, Ictus Records)

Think back to the pioneering gurus of electronic music in the 20th century. New musical technology guided their path to new forms of sound and composition. Creatively, they also incorporated elements from various musical genres. The pairing of Albany-area resident Bob Gluck with Aruan Ortiz for a live electro-acoustic performance with two pianos, a computer, and a Moog synthesizer for Textures and Pulsations furthers the conversations on improvisational music as the pair manipulates the structures of time and space. Not knowing who's playing what instrument when doesn't detract from the feeling of their being open to the moment, as Gluck writes in the liner notes.

Cuban-born Ortiz has performed with Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, and Greg Osby, among others; Gluck is the Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Electronic Music Studio at the University at Albany and the author of You'll Know When You Get There: Herbie Hancock and The Mwandishi Band. Sounding like a dramatic turning point in a movie, "Black and White" contains an initial oscillating and warping sound that introduces a ferocious midsection and ends with a barrage of notes. The intrigue is built in with a measured, pulsating staccato vamp. "Blue" is stirringly melancholy, with an underlying percussive motif. Though six of the eight compositions have a color in their title, it doesn't signify any feeling or mood. One of the two without a color designation is "Interludio," with its transversing acoustic and electronic tones. Ictusrecords.com.

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