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Artists Peter Margasak

Peter Margasak

  • Journalist

Articles written

Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical: February 2019

Peter Margasak, Bandcamp Daily, February 28, 2019

Montréal’s peerless Quatour Bozzini uses overdubbing to adapt two typically intense works by Phill Niblock, originally scored for orchestra, illuminating the inherent psychoacoustic effects with breathtaking power. Disseminate was written in 1988 for Petr Kotik’s S.E.M. Ensemble; it opens with a crushing, buzzing unison, as the stacked microtonal intervals suggest a chorus of bagpipes blaring through a wall of Marshall amps. Dazzling beating and machine-like throbs surround the listener, but the unison begins to fall apart almost immediately, with painstakingly slow shifts. Like so much of the composer’s music, you don’t notice the change until you’ve reached the next location. Still, there are moments when some tonal shifts are greater and there’s no missing the stark developments, as when a few strings emit a wonderfully glassy screech around 20 minutes in. The title piece was composed for the Janacek Symphony Orchestra with the Ostrava banda in 2011. It begins with what sounds like a conventional chord spiked with dissonance, and its lengthy descent to B-flat begins with a mixture of B-sharps and C-sharps. The downward motion is inescapable and exhilarating, with tonal effects that sparkle and groan simultaneously, an impossibly thick, viscous drag that suddenly feels celebratory when the final notes disintegrate.

Montréal’s peerless Quatour Bozzini uses overdubbing to adapt two typically intense works by Phill Niblock, originally scored for orchestra, illuminating the inherent psychoacoustic effects with breathtaking power.

Best of Bandcamp Contemporary Classical: February 2018

Peter Margasak, Bandcamp Daily, February 26, 2018

Montréal composer and sound artist Maxime Corbeil-Perron — who also works extensively with moving images — delivers two instinctive works on this richly nuanced album, one fully composed, the other improvised (but with a rigor that might suggest he’d written everything). Cubic is an acousmatic piece— a purely electronic work that can only be presented through loudspeakers, rather than actively performed — and it draws upon samples from old vinyl records as raw sound objects, although he lassoed surface noise rather than actual music, and while it embraces techno roots, this work eschews any easy stylistic tag. Corbeil-Perron crafts a dynamic series of events and elements — tiny squiggles, quasi-orchestral swells that conjure deep space, and violent sound flashes — to create an almost filmic journey. The seven movements of Polychrome were improvised during a residency at Signal Culture in Oswego, New York, and it’s tough to determine the provenance of the fast-moving vignettes with a more austere design than the opening piece, but they’re no less exciting and physical.

Corbeil-Perron crafts a dynamic series of events and elements — tiny squiggles, quasi-orchestral swells that conjure deep space, and violent sound flashes — to create an almost filmic journey.

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