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BIOTA - Half A True Day


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Six years in the making, this is the sixth CD released by ReR from the visual/sonic art group Biota. Unique in their history and method, Biota painstakingly construct complex, organic structures that mix extensive studio processing and musique concrète techniques, with a highly eclectic orchestra of acoustic and electronic resources: from kit drums, through medieval winds, strings and barrel organs, to early experimental electronic instruments. Their works are always performance driven and interleaved with successive stages of lamination, imbrication of parts, and radical pre- and post-processing. As the title suggests, in this new work a portion of a cycle -- a repeating segment of time -- is explored. We employed repeating and overlapping motifs of different lengths, allowing their staggered interaction to produce varying degrees of harmonization, dissonance, masking and reinforcement. Unpredictability of outcome was furthered by electronic processing -- both manual and automated, random and predetermined -- and by the appearance, taken out of context, of unrelated passages taken from earlier projects. Real-time performers had to interact with this instability as they constructed their contributions, and later as they gave form to the final composition. Although there are elements of chance at work in the process, the eventual architecture is intentional, and carefully worked. Mixing was done by hand and without the aid of computers, then the composition was assembled and integrated digitally. --William Sharp, Biota. The interaction of staggered, overlapping elements reveals a changeable truth about the whole as the parts variously harmonize or dissent; reinforce or cloak one another in their unfolding. The project is, at heart, about uncertainty. Players encounter the shifting interplay between previously recorded parts juxtaposed with instrumental snippets -- out of context -- introduced from the groups archives. Electronic processing programs are employed to apply semi-random and semi-intentional alterations to the proceedings. - Recommended

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