Oren Ambarchi collaboration #274 is with Ilan Volkov and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, as well as percussion ensemble Speak Percussion. Sleepwalker’s Conviction thus gives Ambarchi an unusually large canvas with which to work, and boy does he make use of it. Limited to 300 LP copies on Ambarchi’s own Black Truffle imprint.
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- Sleepwalker's Conviction by Oren Ambarchi
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 08 May 2015
Oren Ambarchi’s made some more stuff. After his triumphantly overpowering Live Knots, also known as Chairs, he returns with this new work People for Orchestra and Percussion ensembles. Ok it’s actually called Sleepwalker’s Conviction, and definitely conjures up the image of a loved one staring down the hall at you at 3am, knife in hand, but he’s got to continue his Thing Study series, so we have People.
The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Speak Percussion ensembles have been buried under layers of dark ambient dissonance, general murk, and soil. There are even tubular bells here, assuming such a formless identity that would give Mike Oldfield nightmares about his career for weeks. Why did they have to strike so obviously and loud? Why didn’t I just make a spook album? Because he knew Ambarchi was coming. And his chairs.
It’s a solid example of Ambarchi’s more modern classical slant, breaking down tonal and textural boundaries with traditional orchestral instruments cascading down around his guitar. The result is one heaving and churning whole, that barely rises above the mist until the second half, where some indeterminate clatter starts to converse above the gloom - not a single hint of discernible rhythm. It finishes with what sounds like a stretched out, pained piano, but there’s no piano here. There’s just People.
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