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Album Review

Exusiai is a dance suite written by Carl Stone, well known for his early work in samplers, best heard on his masterwork, Mom's. As is typical in Stone's work, the samples he uses as basic material are manipulated until they are all but unrecognizable, ground up, hyper-extended, or sliced into slivers. This results in a wide variety of electronic washes and burblings with the occasional familiar sound, a trumpet here, a bell tone there. Possibly because of its ultimate use as accompaniment for a dancer, however, there is little focus and development of ideas here and more simply "sound painting" as though, given the time guidelines necessary for the performance, Stone was merely filling the space with various attractive textures. Several sound as though they might have been derived from similar sources to much of "Gadberry's" from the Mom's disc; others recall Terry Riley's undulating keyboard studies. While some of these matrices, like the aptly titled "Liquid Body," are inherently fascinating and even luxurious, there seems to be a lack of driving motivation that characterized his earlier work. Possibly, it was simply a matter of the technology having caught up with him; ten years prior, Stone was a master of the field, but by 1998, others had taken the ball and ran much further. Still, an enjoyable enough effort and one that fans of Stone will be glad to own.


Born: 10 February 1953 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

American electro-acoustic and computer musician Carl Stone works primarily in sampler-based composition, emphasizing the slow evolution of sound through thematic variation and recurrence. A Los Angeles native, Stone currently lives in San Francisco, a base of sorts for his ongoing involvement in the international avant-garde scene. A student of computer music innovators Morton Subotnick and James Tenney, Stone studied composition formally at the California Institute of the Arts. Focusing strictly...
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Exusiai, Carl Stone
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