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Review

Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 471, April 20, 2005

Vocalist Paul Dutton strikes back with another solo-album now for Ambiances Magnétiques. A few years ago the Ohm/Avatar label released his Mouth Pieces-album. Paul Dutton belongs to the select company of vocal artists like Phil Minton, David Moss, Jaap Blonk, a.o. Together with these three artists plus Makigami Koichi, Paul Dutton performed as the Five Men Singing at the Victo Festival in Canada. But already in the early seventies he choose the path of sound poetry. From 1971 to 1989 he was member of The Four Horsemen, a famous canadian quartet specialized in sound poetry. From 1989 Dutton continued as a member of another famous canadian experimental outfit named CCMC (John Oswald a.o.). Also he published several books of his poems. The pieces on his new cd range from english spoken poems to pieces mixed of speech and sound, to pure soundpoetry. Verbal, non-verbal or anything in between, Dutton in all pieces is interested in the sound qualities of his voice performance. In verbal pieces like Else or Score for Tony - First Movement it is clear that however verbal and about meaning, the sound-qualities of the performance are of a same importance. Dutton himself defines the spectrum he covers as ranging from speech to music. So in his vision the border between literature and music is a gradual one. Sometimes he comes close to tuvanlike throat singing (in Sonorality). A piece like Wolf-chant brings some shamanistic ritual by some unknown tribe to my mind. Other pieces are just hilarious. Dutton tries once more to expand he technical and expressive potentials of his soundpoetry. Albums like this one make you astonished about the possibilities of the human voice. What an instrument! No electronic treatments or overdubs are used, except some overdubs in Sugar and T’ Her for Monk ’n’ Mabern, two poems where Dutton added some sound-singing. Its music that has to be seen to be believed!

Albums like this one make you astonished about the possibilities of the human voice.

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