Jeremiah Cymerman – Purification/Dissolution

With his first solo release since 2008’s In Memory of the Labyrinth System, New York City composer and clarinetist Jeremiah Cymerman returns, utilizing a new approach to his fifth studio album.  The progression of the self-released record uniquely exemplifies Cymerman’s live performance, creating a result so raw and organic that it would make a vegan’s mouth water.

Cymerman’s live clarinet improvisations slice through the record with both amplified hyperactivity and spaced-out atmospheric brilliance, with discreet electronics and synthesizer resonating with deep eeriness.

Some attempts at live-ish recordings, especially in improvisation and noise, can be single note.  The result can often superficially be regarded as mere cacophony, an eruption, euphoric or dreadful, that serves as catharsis or corruption.  Such recordings or performances, at their best, create an interesting dynamic, surprising the listener somehow.  But with Purification/Dissolution, Cymerman’s intellectual approach to his studio collage of improvised bits has created a rich and diverse narrative.  There is a definite story here, and while this may be the case with many other artists, Cymerman’s story is never lost on the listener; never has noise spoken so clearly.  Standout track “Charnel Ground” is a pure manifestation of this aesthetic, with Cymerman’s multi-tracked clarinet climaxing to complete shredding and then collapsing into the open space of “Secret Refuge (for Adam Yauch)”.

What is the story?  I could stand on a chair, pointing at various members of an audience, saying, “It’s your story, and your story, it’s my story.”  But I’ll refrain from that temptation.  Let’s just conclude that this narrative contains few words, and therefore cannot be repeated.  It exists fluidly and independently.  Oh, and it’s highly recommended.

-Jared Micah


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