Info klage - Thanos Chrysakis 
by Thanos Chrysakis
Aural Terrains (TRRN0101)
"Summer Fog"
"Childhood's Vertigo"

Thanos Chrysakis's URL


fn issue October 2011
'N-Plants' - Biosphere
'Sky Snails' - The Electric Golem
'Echo Park' - Willamette
'Gramophone Transmissions' - Broken Harbour
'Negative Space' - Blue Sausage Infant
'Home Patterning' - compilation
'Polychromatic Integers' - Richard Lainhart
'Generate Records' - compilation
'Sung In Broken Symmetry' - Aquarelle

Thanos Chrysakis is a vibraphone player and electroacoustic composer based in London. He has created a number of installations and has several releases on various net labels. With Klage, he has launched his own CD label with a collection of nine wandering atmospherics, sonic environments of uncertain origins, some of which retain performative aspects that reveal his training as a percussionist, and some of which spring entirely from his imagination.

Only the opening track, Immanent Distance, gets singled out as an acoustic work, credited on the sleeve to an improvisation between the composer on vibraphone and Dario Bernal Villegas on piano. From the sounds on the piece, the piano was probably prepared and played inside the piano as well as on the keys. Prepared with this knowledge, one can imagine that the piece Summer Fog has a similar derivation, but has additional treatments and overlays. What Lasts Is What You Start With sounds like bowed metallic percussion, a brief shimmering that leads directly into the shortest track on the album, Nearly Alongside, where bells are shaken and struck in a high, loud ringing for barely over a minute, cleansing the ears at the album's midpoint.

On the album's longer tracks, such as Downstream Prism, Chrysakis uses subdued voice to thicken the texture, creating a web of mysterious sounds heard through a fog. Words appear just on the verge of articulation. On Childhood's Vertigo, post-processing becomes more apparent, sounding almost like the Colorado group Biota, with rhythms made from echoes, perhaps brushed drumkits, tubular bells and cymbals. The longest piece on the album, over thirteen minutes, is a work inspired by the Oracle of the Dead at the the three rivers entering Hades, according to Greek mythology. Nekyomanteion sounds like the river of its inspiration, with static chittering like the watery sounds running over rocks, and other sounds placed in its flow. Chrysakis intones a short quotation from Lars von Trier's 1991 film Europa, describing the sleeper at the bottom of the river. The image aptly characterizes the piece, capturing the organic flow of the river and the slow, dreamlike activity of the sleeper.

Although Chrysakis has released the album as a collection of individual tracks, he views it as 'an aural manifold of different distances/proximities and contours,' all presumably translating to a deep connection among them. If some of the short pieces seem like fragments, the longer works successfully compensate with immersive and unique sound worlds.

Review by Caleb Deupree


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