Mark Cetilia: Impact + Aftermath

{Impact + Aftermath}, Mark Cetilia's solo outing (available in a letterpress-printed edition of 200 copies) features two pieces, both of them recorded live in Providence, Rhode Island but on different dates in different locations, that manipulate inaudible signals within the electromagnetic spectrum as source material.

Recorded at Third Mind, Granoff Center for the Arts on April 5, 2012, “Pulse Shape 22 (Gamma)” is a thirty-five-minute setting that, if not listened to via headphones, will only start to become audible after about three minutes. That nearly silent beginning is an integral part of the overall design, however, as Cetilia uses software-defined radio and electronics to generate a mass of sound that builds incrementally in size, volume, and intensity over the course of its half-hour-plus duration. In simplest terms, the material hews to the standard narrative arc of rising action, climax, and denouement. Gradually the elements flood the aural space with a combustible, rippling mass of carefully controlled chaos that crests at the twenty-seven-minute mark. At that juncture, tension-and-release comes into play, as subsequent, rather industrial-like surges follow the seeming climax, though they turn out to be teasing gestures, after which a well-managed decompression follows to bring the piece to a ringing close.

The second piece, “Palinopsia,” begins as quietly as the first though there are significant differences between them. Produced using analog modular, shortwave radio, and electronics and recorded at R.K. Projects, “Palinopsia” situates itself within a higher register of warbly, high-frequency sounds; there's also a programmatic dimension to the piece, as it was created in response to a silent screening of New York-based video artist Naho Taruishi's Corner Projection No. 2. Soundwise, the ghostly material eschews the dramatic trajectory of “Pulse Shape 22 (Gamma),” opting instead to remain at a generally low-level volume and activity level throughout its twenty-three minutes.

Textura (2013)