Karlsson/Ekman, Karlsson

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COMPOSERS: Karlsson,Karlsson/Ekman
LABELS: Caprice
WORKS: Night of Enchantment
It is hard to decide which is the more pretentious, the notes about Erik Mikael Karlsson’s ‘Hommage a Luchino Visconti’, Night of Enchantment, in the booklet with this CD or the work itself. Described as a music drama, Night of Enchantment is in fact a studio-originated electroacoustic piece, which weaves together a multilingual collection of spoken extracts (assembled by Fredrik Ekman) from Leopardi, Pessoa, Proust, Shakespeare and Chekhov with ululating women’s voices and a stock collection of electronically generated gestures – continuums of slowly changing clusters in both very high and very low registers, slowly descending, splintering glissandi and splashes of bright, metallic colour – most of which Stockhausen for one was using far more imaginatively 40 years ago. Night of Enchantment tries desperately hard to be profound and ends up as a ragbag of effects, and at 45 minutes is far, far too long. At least the other two works on the disc, both labelled as electroacoustic compositions, are considerably shorter, though neither of them even hints that under the efficiently enough manipulated layers of sonorities and spatial effects, there is any kind of distinctive creative voice. Andrew Clements