Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Chicago Reader on Wrekmeister Harmonies - 12/27

As Wrekmeister Harmonies—a bastardization of the title of the 2000 film Werckmeister Harmonies, by the great Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr—Chicago sound artist J.R. Robinson creates resonant, long-form drone pieces and slow-moving ambient excursions, in both cases using field recordings made around the world, often in famous art museums like the Getty or Centre Pompidou. Last month Robinson performed a live score for Michael Snow's classic 1967 structuralist film Wavelength in Los Angeles, and this week he scores his own homage to structuralism, the 45-minute film You've Always Meant So Much to Me. He's assembled an impressive lineup to play a soundtrack that his publicity materials say explores "the darkest corners of ambient black metal." Given that he's got help from Jef Whitehead (Leviathan), Bruce Lamont (Yakuza), Sanford Parker (Twilight), Stavros Giannopoulos (the Atlas Moth), Mark Solotroff (Anatomy of Habit), and Jaime Fennelly (Mind Over Mirrors), I'm willing to believe it. —Peter Margasak