Koji Asano • The last Shade of Evening falls 1/4 CD
"The Last Shade of Evening Falls" is a work totaling 260 minutes in length, split in four movements. Each CD (movement) has its own artwork (all four covers are related, however) and catalog number, and is sold separately. Therefore, each installment in the series has its own review at www.allmusic.com and, while this page contains most of the general comments on the whole work, the reader is invited to progress through the reviews of all four CDs/movements in order to get the complete picture. Basically, "The Last Shade of Evening Falls" is a piece for violin, double bass, and electronics. First, Koji Asano wrote and recorded a piece for violin and double bass (performers are not specified). He later deconstructed the source material and recomposed it through computer and electronic manipulations. Although one can still recognize the sounds of strings in the finished work, the treatments have become more important than the source piece. Each movement possesses its own characteristics, even though at first they appear to be homogeneous. The beginning of one movement does not pick up where the previous one ended. The whole is utterly puzzling, disquieting, and displeasing at times, but also paradoxically fascinating. "The Last Shade of Evening Falls 1/4" is a continuous 68-minute piece made of long drones derived from violin and double bass. There seem to be four basic layers to the piece: pure or quasi-pure string sounds, screeching string sounds (as if the players exaggeratedly pressed their bows on the strings), what could be described as pure or quasi-pure electronic tones, and random tones. The screeching sounds may be the product of the players, electronic manipulation, or more likely both. The random tones are strings of short middle-range electronic sounds. All four layers come in and out of focus as if following separate epicycles. In the last third of the piece the composer resorts to painful high frequencies. The piece ends as abruptly as it started and although it kept changing form, it seemed to remain static throughout. The experience could be compared to watching the flow of a stream.
1 The Last Shade of Evening Falls 1/4 68:02
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