[reviews] afe089lcd
edward ruchalski: territorial objects

touching extremes []
webzine, italy, august 2007

Hailing from Syracuse (New York), Edward Ruchalski is a guitar teacher and composer whose work has already been commissioned by important ensembles such as Bang On A Can All-Stars and whose recorded output has been featured on labels such as Humbug, Pseudoarcana, Foxy Digitalis and Taâlem.

His main interests reside in "sound installations, motorized string and percussion instruments and playable percussive sculptures". Enough for this curious boy to try and deepen his knowledge of the artist, and - truth be told - my expectations were fulfilled.

"Territorial Objects" incorporates thirteen untitled tracks, mostly pretty short, in which Ruchalski traces moods whose temperamental contents - both concrete and symbolic - are often seriously charged.

Helped by Michael Burton and Matt Broad, Ruchalski developed the pieces using cymbals, bells and artillery casings (!), to which the performers added water, field recordings, bells, guitar, toy piano and various samples.

In this way, they generated a library of sounds on minidisc, from which they extrapolated the basic materials for the music, also by treating the primary sources with envelope manipulation, filtering and pitch transposition.

All of the above should give you at least a faint idea of what this stuff sounds like: a mixture of ritual rhythms comparable to natural phenomena, powerful passages and slowly descending sonic sunsets engaging us in a rapture of sensual abandon, lifting our sense of belonging up to a too-soon-terminated climax, until the next picture appears. Everything assembled with careful consideration, typical of a purpose that doesn't necessarily appear like a propagation of the composer's ego. Beautiful and definitely recommended.

[Massimo Ricci]