Ivan Ckonjevic – Bardo.Vertep (Noechorecords)
Bardo.vertep, the fourth album by Serbian based composer Ivan Ckonjevic, is a quiet, minimal affair. It is definitely a case of morphing controlled noise into sculptural shapes using guitar with effects pedals, loopers and violin bow/ebow. The sound elicited by these combined mediations of the guitar is far removed from the traditional guitar sound and conveys the sense of otherworldliness that is often described as ethereal. Stepping back to an earthly perspective it contains long, drawn out chord-like sections of sculpted noise, drawn from plucking and bowing the guitar, that may convey this sense only by cultural associations with visual and written material.
The four tracks on this album have different inspirations; the first track from a story from Olga Tokarczuk’s book Playing on Many Drums, the second and third from experiences on the train between Belgrade to Subotica to do with lights on the horizon and deer on the train tracks. The fourth is a rearranged version of music recorded for a short film by Millca Jovcic in 2008. The idea behind the album was to make ‘linear photographic music’, rather than narrative; images evoke music to evoke images. Essentially the stories behind the tracks give no real entry into the music beyond a form of biographical notation. As instrumental pieces they hold no narrative form and the general continuum of expectation that could be drawn from a traditional composer’s arrangement cannot be easily accessed underneath the folds of effect-driven sound. However the basic level of extracting notes continues and it is from the control of both the plucking and the bowing and the arrangement that makes this work compelling and at the same time creating an ambient piece, befitting a calm and composed environment. It has been released as a free download or as a limited edition CD.
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