Anna Zaradny – Mauve Cycles (Musica Genera, 2008)

Anna Zaradny
Mauve Cycles

CD Musica Genera G 004 (Poland, 10-2008)

01. Mauve 1
02. Mauve 2

« Mauve Cycles » by Anny Zaradny is a significant release. It is the first solo CD by the artist with already considerable output, including improvised music, composing for theatres, collaborations with visual artists and sound installations. Also, the involvement of women in the contemporary experimental music still seems to be perceived as unusual (hence the compilation releases such as « Women in Electronic Music » from 1977 or « Her Noise » exhibition from 2005) and in Poland it is a marginal phenomena.
What immediately captures attention in Anna’s music is the diversity of colour and texture: noisy, harsh, prepared, digitally manipulated. The unusual thing is the almost baroque ornamentation. The production of the recording, emphasising the dynamics of sound, reveals the remarkable abundance of textural detail, especially at high volume. The rich arrangements make one think of orchestral momentum, which is not surprising in the context of Zaradny’s classical music education. Sensitivity rooted in the aesthetics of ’60 sonoristic avant-garde (Pauline Oliveros, David Tudor, Gordon Mumma), combined with years of experience and collaborations with world’s leading free-improv and sound artists (Tony Buck, Burkhard Stangl, Cor Fuhler, Zbigniew Karkowski) result in the two parts of « Mauve Cycles ».
At structural level, Anna’s music is built of interweaving, constantly evolving sound and rhythm blocks, organised into the title cycles. Even if the elements of this sound mosaic can be categorised (drone, field recordings, extreme sonoristics, oscillator rhythms), every now and then the order is shattered by violent, out of context sound intrusions. The feeling of constant unease, both at compositional and sound levels, is one thing that makes the record stand out. The other is the focus on compositional aspect of the music, which distinguishes Anna’s ideas from many other records.
The multilayer, spatial nature of the recordings resemble sound sculptures of Harry Bertoia, Christina Kubisch or Kaffe Matthews. « Mauve Cycles » seems to correspond with the output of these artists, as well as Eliane Radigue’s or Delia Debyshire’s, contributing to women’s voice in the field of electronic preparations.
(Daniel Brozek)

In Poland women play a marginal role in experimental music, Musica Genera tells us. I never heard of Anna Zaradny. She played with Burkhard Stangl, Cor Fuhler, Zbigniew Karkowski, but also composed music for theatres, sound installations and collaboration with visual artists. Yet she never made her own CD, which ‘Mauve Cycles’ now is. Her first solo CD. And I must say: what a great CD! Two pieces, ‘Mauve 1’ and ‘Mauve 2’, which are pieces of electronic music. Drone based, but loud, deep, and never noisy. Towards the end of ‘Mauve 1’ the material starts to modulate and vibrate, in a Pan Sonic like manner. Think Eliane Radigue but then just a little bit louder and more forcefully present and with more rhythm aspects to it. Highly minimal but with those slight variations at all the right moments that make this a damn fine release. I am not sure how the music was generated, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if this was made on a bunch of analogue synthesizers (but I might be wrong). I was blown away, literary, but this one. Great, massive work. (Frans de Waard, vital Weekly)

Première publication solo pour Anna Zaradny. ‘Mauve cycle’ c’est deux compositions de musique électronique s’il en est ; horizontalité et granulations. Comme l’auscultion d’un androïde enrhumé… Nocturne, sensuel, dense et exploratoire. (Metamkine)

Par principe, je me refuse à employer le tag ‘experimental’. Cet album se retrouve donc faute de mieux avec les étiquettes ‘drone’ et ‘noise’. En page d’accueil de son site on peut voir Anna Zaradny faire de la musique en chatouillant une plante, je devrais peut-être ajouter une catégorie ‘main verte’…

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