The Haecceity of Things cs578









For 'The Haecceity of Things', Houben is on a church organ, recorded some three months prior to Rodrigues' viola as well as his son Guilherme's viola d'amore and field recordings. Houben does amazing things with organs and here begins with a grainy, quiet tone (an interesting beat in the background), offset with subtle ambient recordings bearing a hiss and faint passing traffic along with distant plane engines. Again, it's near the five-minute mark that one of the strings (I can't tell which) enters, paralleling the organ line but richer, soon occupying the piece on its own, calmly sawing back and forth. A cricket appears, then is heard solo. :-) Perhaps in accordance with the title, there's more of a sequencing of sounds, with some overlap to be sure, rather than the steady-state heard in the prior release (the younger Rodrigues did the mix; I assume that's responsible). Though when both strings are present, undergirded by some hyper-deep organ, the effect is magnificent. An extended silence more than halfway through the hour or so, then astringent strings, soon buttressed by dim, low organ. It's a different feel; the first section seemed, dark and damp as well as episodic. Now things open up into a dry, hot realm, more consistently of a piece. It's a more complex structure than 'Layering Time' and equally as beguiling. Houben's body of work is among the strongest of which I'm aware and these two items, enormously assisted by the contributions of Rodrigues father and son, extend that legacy. Deep music. Brian Olewnick (Just Outside)

A mysterious album of viola, viola d'amore, organ, and field recordings, merging the compositional minimal approach of Wandelweiser artist Eva-Maria Houben with Creative Sources performers Ernesto & Guilherme Rodrigues, the field recordings creating a virtual setting of environmental stillness, evoking slow motion in the unique "thisness" of haecceity. (Squidco)