Le Chim – Chapel of the Chims

The Intro to Chapel of the Chims by the possibly one-time only composer duo Le Chim (Located at soundcloud.com/chimchimchimchim [chim is a pretty fun word]) was performed at the Oakland Chapel of the Chimes during the cemetery’s annual solstice celebration that features a host of experimental music. There is very little information that I could dig up about Le Chim or Chapel of the Chims specifically, so I have no idea how written out or freely improvised it was. Perhaps the most helpful thing was picture on the full set that revealed that Chim’s personnel are the Swedish, now Brooklyn-based composer Adrian Knight and the Slovakian, now Miami-based composer Juraj Kojs. They both overlapped each other at Yale while Knight was finishing his MM and Kojs was a postdoctoral associate, so they may have met each other there, but I could not find any other previous work together before this project. Regardless, this introduction is envelopingly gorgeous.

What starts in the introduction as regularly pulsing tones from a keyboard begin to be subjected to increasingly deep levels of reverberation to ultimately form a texture of extremely long, gently pulsating tones. As time moves forward in this piece, the pitch content of the background becomes more clustered to create varying levels of chromatic density of both consonance and dissonance. This background creates sounds that remind one of being submerged in semi-clear deep waters. As you look around light gently radiates partially through the depths. The water is all around you and suspends you while also weighing down upon you. This aspect of the music reminds me a good deal of the haunting textures of Swedish composer Anders Hillborg’s incredible muo:aa:yiy:oum.

All the while, shimmery sounds of rapidly fluctuating pitch add increasing interest to the music. It has an interesting timbre that is much like a tape being spun faster or slower. These higher pitched intrusions are a form of sleight of hand that allow the duo to begin altering the pitch content of the background cluster more and more without your perception of it because it distracts the ear with its agility. They also manipulate the effects on this bit of musical material frequently which weave layers of subtle timbral development into the music.

At the very end of the excerpt posted, there is one single hit on a bowl like percussion instrument that sounds phenomenal. That single note makes me wish I could hear how this piece took shape over the course of the performance, but this intro is a pretty nice treat anyway. Please feel free to post any thoughts, questions, or general comments about this piece or this post below. Hope you enjoy the music!

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