This ear-tickling electroacoustic beauty comes from Montreal’s Ana Dall’Ara-Majek. Born in Paris, she’s a composer and sound artist who earned her PhD in composition at the Université de Montréal in 2016.
Dall’Ara-Majek describes Nano-Cosmos as “a cycle of acousmatic pieces dedicated to insects, small arthropods and micro-organisms.” It’s not difficult to imagine that if our hearing was strong enough to listen to the various bugs and other small organisms around us, the world would sound very much like these extraordinary five pieces.
The work is not all clicks and beeps though. “Pixel Springtail Promenade (2014-15)” for example incorporates field recordings of voices and public spaces that deliver welcome contrast. As much as this is an album of fascinating, beautifully produced sounds, it is a demonstration of Dall’Ara-Majek’s extraordinary compositional style.
Electroacoustic music is most powerful when it’s in the hands of an imaginative producer. It’s one thing to bring together a palette of interesting sounds. It’s another thing to piece them together in a manner that draws out thought-provoking contrasts and surprising connections. Nano-Cosmos has plenty of all this.
At just 38, Dall’Ara-Majek has already earned herself an international reputation. Her music has been featured at a long list of European and North American festivals that includes Sound in Space, Multiphonies, L’Espace du son, Sincrónic, Sound Travels, Akousma, Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik and Elektro Arts.
And she’s a sought-after collaborator. Ida Toninato is a regular partner in their duo Jane/KIN. She’s worked on a variety of theatre, dance and film projects and has composed for a host of chamber music ensembles.
This new recording is the product of an accomplished artist in her prime.