03 Egoyan PaulyHopeful Monster
Eve Egoyan; Mauricio Pauly
No Hay Discos NHD 004 (nohaydiscos.bandcamp.com)

Some five years in the making, the ten tracks which constitute Hopeful Monster reflect the experimental musical partnership of adventurous Toronto pianist Eve Egoyan and Vancouver-based composer/improvising musician, Mauricio Pauly.

Egoyan performs on acoustic and augmented (in many ways) piano, voice and other acoustic instruments such as the judiciously used kanun and Armenian duduk. The latter adds acoustic and cultural specificity to this often geographically though not aesthetically unmooring album. In most respects, this music lies in the experimental mainstream in the lineage of Tenney, Cage, Varese, et al.

Pauly, also a maker of hybrid electronic instruments, contributed a roomful of electronic gear such as computers, live samplers, live processing, dekeyed Chromaharp, and “drum bundle,” but also the inscrutably named instruments: O-Coast follower, FAWslicer and MtkAsmC25. Don’t let the profusion of odd gear throw you however. Being created through exploratory improvisation based on fearless artistic attitude and close listening by both musicians, this music attains a kind of biological fluidity.

“There’s a dark edge to [Pauly’s] sound-world that’s kind of like stone,” observed Egoyan in an interview, “… a real earthiness to his electronics, something very organic about his sounds. I [too] have a connection to an organic instrument and … to organic samples, but then I can go digital with them and make it very supernatural.”

Hopeful Monster explores a boundaried acoustic ecology through ranks of electronically mediated filters. The resulting collaboration reveals an audacious, supranatural sonic world stranger and at times more wonderous than the one outside this album.

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