Xenia Pestova Bennett Makes Best of Bandcamp

Every two months, Bandcamp will feature some of the best composer-driven music to surface on the online music site, music that “makes room for electronic experimentation, improvisation, and powerful takes on old classics”. In this instalment, Ireland-based New Zealander Xenia Pestova Bennett makes the line-up.

“Bennett has been celebrated for her sensitive, rigorous interpretations of contemporary composers as disparate as [fellow New Zealander] Annea Lockwood, Alvin Curran, Hans Otte, and Gayle Young – both on standard piano and toy piano – but with Atomic Legacies she reveals a different side of her practice. Atomic Legacies features the ‘Magnetic Resonator Piano’, a modified keyboard instrument designed by Andrew McPherson that uses electromagnets installed above the strings of a standard piano to manipulate sounds using only the usual keyboard,” Peter Margasak writes for Bandcamp.

Bennett has written a five-part solo suite titled ‘Glowing Radioactive Elements’, developed from loosely improvised kernels. Each section is named for a different element. While a couple of pieces were edited for length, there are no effects of overdubs in use – each movement toggles between pure piano sounds and manipulations that suggest bowing or various electronic treatments. Sounds smear, vibrate, billow, slide, and resonate in surprising fashion. In ‘Tritium’ a cycling two-note pattern is caressed and subsumed by tones that twinkle, swarm, and flutter. The album concludes with the title composition, on which Bennett is joined by the Ligeti Quartet. It’s a thrilling, episodic journey of moods and approaches that collide and reconcile, juggling portent and calm.”

Original article by Peter Margasak, Bandcamp, April 20, 2020.

Tags: Annea Lockwood  Atomic Legacies  Bandcamp  Xenia Pestova Bennett  

Sam Hamilton Exhibits at Portland’s Converge 45

Sam Hamilton Exhibits at Portland’s Converge 45

“The strongest curatorial statement of Converge 45 is at Oregon Contemporary, where a five-channel video by Portland-based, Aotearoa New Zealand-born Sam Hamilton (Sam Tam Ham) rejects the hegemonic world…