light and roundchair |cs062








































Of much more interest is the disc by one Grundik Kasyansky, which sounds Russian, but the four pieces were recorded in New York City. Kasyansky uses a feedback synthesizer, computer, small theremin and radios, to create one very long piece, and the three others last from four to nineteen minutes. This is quite a minimal sound that is going on, of indeed mainly feedback sounds. It's quite 'soft' music, despite the input being feedback. The sounds move around, apparently going nowhere, just circling about like a flock of birds in the air. The best pieces are the two that also include radio, which add an extra layer of hiss and static. Quite mysterious music altogether and it's quite alright. Microsound music at its best, but Kasyansky adds his own voice to the genre. Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly)

Igor "Grundik" Kasyansky to kompozytor i improwizator, autor instalacji oraz muzyki do filmów, spektakli teatralnych i baletu. Od ponad dziesieciu lat,
wraz z poznanym podczas studiów na Uniwersytecie Bar-Ilan w Ramat Gan w Izraelu Slava Smelovskym, tworzy elektro-akustyczny duet Grundik+Slava ( Plyta "Light and Roundchair", która, zdaje sie, jest debiutem plytowym Kasyansky'ego nagrana zostala w ubieglym roku w Nowym Jorku, miescie, w którym muzyk mieszka od pieciu lat. Plyta zawiera cztery, trwajace od czterech i pól do dwudziestu siedmiu minut, utwory,
których podstawowym tworzywem stal sie syntezatorowy feedback. W utworze drugim, który przywodzi na mysl "Pendulum Music" Reicha, Kasyansky uzywa dodatkowo komputera i thereminu, zas w trzecim i czwartym odbiorników radiowych.
Mikromuzyka Kasyansky'ego jest spokojna i delikatna. Brzmienie jest zawiesiste, lecz pozbawione dosadnosci; spietrzone, nakladane na siebie dzwieki powoli wedruja poprzez czas i cisze. Stratusy szumów i trzasków, cumulusy fal radiowych, cirrusy swistów i chrzestów, lagodnie popychane elektrycznym wiatrem spokojnie dryfuja po elektroakustycznym niebie.
Podobno Grundik Kasyansky pisal kiedys wiersze, obecnie jest poeta dzwieku.
Tadeusz Kosiek (Gaz-Eta)

Recently, [N:Q], the quartet of Nantes-based musicians including Keith Rowe, has taken to at least occasionally performing with nothing but radios. Though radio as an infinitely rich “color” among other instruments has a long history by now, presenting it as a sole sound source is a tricky affair. The “easy” thing to do would be to scavenge around on in-between wavelengths, allowing the static washes to commingle happily much like they might when melding with electronica or extended acoustical techniques in, um, regular ensembles. Much more difficult to utilize talk radio captures or snared music samples and have them somehow amount to more than the sum of their parts. It can certainly work, as demonstrated on [N: Q]’s Quebec disc from earlier this year (and, at least partially, the Rowe/Ottavi performance at 2005’s ErstQuake fest) but it presents a formidable challenge. As it begins to appear more and more often as a common item in the electro-acoustic arsenal, it’s fascinating to hear various methods of deployment.
Grundik Kasyansky makes substantial use of radio on two of the four tracks of “Light and Roundchair” but even on the other couple of pieces, his “feedback synthesizer” emulates short-wave static and between-stations modulations readily enough to fool you. Kasyansky does an excellent job of pacing himself throughout, unreeling a series of sounds in an unhurried manner, allowing each strand to be heard distinctly—a soft, repetitive flutter adjacent to a softer hum alongside irregular rattles near the beginning of “10.9.2005”, for instance. He’s fond of using the sort of low-high-low (or vice versa) pitch shift that one commonly associates with short-wave scans (near the onset of the second work, “Turnover”, e.g.). It’s interesting because, as a listener, you have to deal with the “recognizable” elements, attempting to ignore their normal connotations, and fit them into an abstract setting. Or not. My sense is that Kasyansky simply offers them as is, no apologies—deal with it. But, if so, this is done calmly not aggressively and I found myself encountering less and less difficulty reconciling the two worlds the more I listened. In fact, the loopiness of a track like “Turnover” begins to be read almost conversationally, as though you’re experiencing a whistling storyteller.
Radio enters as a prominent element on both the lengthy “Radio Dostoevsky FM” and the brief final track, “Radio Dostoevsky FM—The Holy Day Broadcast”. It serves to darken the tenor of the music in an effectively rich fashion, brooding beneath an array of sounds otherwise similar to those on the initial two pieces. Again, Kasyansky appears content to just place the contributions in position and allow the listener to work out the relationships for himself. A blurred speaking voice set within two or three varied hums adorned by the odd pop or welling of feedback. As before, a kind of calmness prevails, the lines unspooling leisurely, challenging one to discern any artifice in their placement. I gave up after a few spins and just enjoyed the wallow. I went back and forth a bit on one aspect, sometimes thinking that its 27 minutes might be too long, other times that it wasn’t long enough so I imagine it’s about right. Somewhere past its midpoint the talk becomes clearer and a political conversation revolving around religious fundamentalism is heard. It’s to the credit of Kasyansky’s conception that you’re able to hear it both in the context of social meaning and also as pure sound, flicking from one to the other as your conscience dictates though later on, when music filters into the mix, the “radio-ness” becomes a little distracting. The final cut is a short addendum to its predecessors, recapitulating several of the basic motifs.
“Light and Roundchair” is the first I’ve heard of Kasyansky’s work and gives good reasons to highly anticipate future music from him. Brian Olewnick (Bagatellen)

Utilizing feedback synthesizer, radios, a small theremin and computer, Kasyansky modulates air particles and luminescent frequencies into intermittent contacts with a sonic aura that's pretty difficult to delineate. The fascination brought by the ether's byproducts - enhanced by the difficulty of clearly detecting the contained messages - has always been an excellent territory of exploration and invention for artists such as John Duncan and Keith Rowe, not to mention the CONET project. "Light and roundchair" adds the synthesis element to the equation, transforming these barely discernible presences into an appreciation of seclusion where voices, strange noises and acute sybilances establish an invisible control over the brain, which is forced to recognize those signals by anomalously filing them in an unusual archive. Listening by headphones is recommended to catch the minuscule particulars of this silently effective album, which in one of its tracks - precisely, "Turnover" - is also somehow comparable to a stripped down version of David Lee Myers' digital delay-based investigations. Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

Grundik, also known from the excellent electro-acoustic duo of Grundik+Slava, alone and migrated to the US. In fact, he lives about 10 blocks from Squidco now, in Inwood, NY (upper Manhattan). This is a set of solo works using primarily a feedback synthesizer, the last two in combination with radios. The pieces are quiet and squelchy works, the 'feedback' a description of the method of synthesis rather than the kind that results from crossing one's wires. Interesting, thoughtful and unique tonalities that take the listener on an unusual audio journey. Squidco

Full of frequencies between frequencies and sounds between sounds, Light And Roundchair is a finely tuned exploration of the strange interstitial spaces between sound events. A vocabulary of tones slowly evolves, almost disappearing as soon as they are focused on, like a set of counterpoints of accompanists in search of a theme. On " 10.9.2005" Tod Dockstader's felicitous sound events come to mind, but it was created using only sythesizer feedback. The last two tracks actually do feature radio-sourced sound and ghostly traces of speech. Sam Davies (The Wire)

Grundik Kasyansky is a sound artist composer and sound designer who apparently divides time between Moscow Tel Aviv and New York City. In 1995 he formed Grundik and Slava with Slava Smelovsky in Israel. Their 2005 concept album Frogs was the most compelling example of electro acoustic avant garde electronica that this writer encountered last year For his solo project however Grundik has stripped things right back. To the extent that he is working with delicate pitches, fragile textures of static and sharp pin pricks of sine tones, forming these almost intolerable micro symphonies of sound. His main instrument is feedback synthesizer, though he’s also working with radios in which he mines the gold barely off channel, computer and theremin. There are subtle skips, clips, tiny flutters of static as the radios and the digitalia bubble and pop aimlessly. Though generated via feedback these are quiet sounds requiring active listening, possibly best with headphones to block out any extraneous environmental sounds, as otherwise it would be easy to lose some of the subtlety in Grundik’s composition. Bob Baker Fish (Cyclic Defrost)

How to refer to Grundik Kasyansky? The common denominator to each of the four tracks on Light and Roundchair (CS 062) is the use of feedback synthesizer (though he also employs computer, theremin, and radios). Kasyansky’s approach to the radio is far different than one finds in, say, Keith Rowe’s music or N:Q or Otomo Yoshihide. The sounds he coaxes from them are almost delicate ones, meant to blend into his tasteful use of sine waves and the feedback synthesizer, suggesting an animate ball of paper rustling uncomfortably amidst the drones. On “10.9.2005” we hear low, wet gurgles like a Mats Gustafsson loop build into a steadily denser sound cluster, with shrieking feedback and even rougher scratches. “Turnover” features a slowly pin wheeling bit of feedback, a harmonic gloss on the steady bore of high-pitched feedback (with an occasional bullying from radio). And when Kasyansky finally coaxes some referential material to the fore – on the first, 30-minute iteration of “Radio Dostoevsky” – it serves as catalyst to a massive crumbling wall of noise. A perplexing recording. Would that there were more of them. Jason Bivins (Bagatellen)