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Michael Gendreau - Polvo Seran, Mas Polvo Enamorado
CD (San Francisco)

-Ghosts of Logical Reasoning
-Polvo Seran, Mas Polvo Enamorado
-Objects Separated by String
-Le Cris Du Batiment De Fri Art

(Lost In a Sea of Sound) Michael Gendreau's passion and creativity exists in a world of frequencies almost two low to hear. Like art at a microscopic level, magnification needs to be amplified in order to see. Polvo Seran, Mas Polvo Enamorado is similar to this thought in an aural context. Decibels need to be dialed high, exposing the consciousness to lurking sonic explosions. This technique of listening follows the path of many classical recordings. A symphony in it's many parts equivalent to Gendreau's subsonic adagio, then the bursting cacophony of a well placed but brief allegro. Then back to again. This is a lengthy composition of four parts. Reading the descriptions of Michael Gendreau's past works and direction, there was an unfamiliar word, "parataxis". After reviewing the definition; a juxtaposition of unconnected things, these sounds do have this quality. Not to the extent of being uncomfortable, but more the the level of maintaining interest. Polvo Seran, Mas Polvo Enamorado is not a violent noise composition, these captured sounds are methodically thought about and delivered with more purpose than what can be understood. Michael and the wisdom of his vast sonic knowledge and love, is in another place. Maybe the low frequency rumblings are the only sounds able to pass through dimensional constraints. It would be easy to label this audio journey as experimental, but this is just a generic term for something that can not be comprehended. Maybe the better term for these selections would be "to be determined" once the listening world matures. For now, Polvo Seran, Mas Polvo Enamorado has depth and beauty in a sonic class little else exists. - Robot Rattle

(Avant Music News) Michael Gendreauís Polvo serŠn, mas polvo enamorado [PE 140] isómostlyĖan essay in liminal sound. Gendreau is an acoustician working on noise design in built environments; the raw material of much of his work consists of low frequency vibrations and their relationship to the resonances of rooms. His recording features long stretches of sounds that exist at the margins of perception, some of which are more felt than heard. But beware: the apparent silence may be broken by an unexpected and jarring upsurge of loud sounds. - Daniel Barbiero

(Vital Weekly) Over the years I didn't keep up with what Michael Gendreau is doing. From the early 80s to the late 90s he worked with Crawling With Tarts, fluctuating membership group that used quite a bit of turntables that I did hear on LP and CD but after that I lost sight. I read that he works these days as an acoustician "working primarily on low-vibration and noise design for buildings" and that's where his interest also lies as a musician these days; working with "recordings infrasonic vibrations of a performance space", which he uses in concert settings and that makes many of his pieces quite site specific. I guess it is also not easy to translate these recordings into something easily reproduced on a sound carrier, but perhaps the CD is the best one to replicate the sound. There is some very extreme music on this disc. All four pieces are made "using accelerometers in the performance spaces" and easily range from very quiet, almost inaudible to something very loud. In the opening piece "Ghosts Of Logical Reasoning" it is all considerable quiet, with a sort of vaguely obscured rumble going on. In the longest piece, the title piece, Gendreau works very extreme sounds; very quiet and very loud, with bass sounds taking this building almost apart. I leaped up, grabbed the remote and turned the volume down a bit. "Objects Separated By String" seems to have picked some street sounds and acoustic objects, but I easily admit by this time I might have been hallucinating a bit. 'Use with caution' could have been printed on the cover, I think, and since it's not, use my review as an advance warning. These radical differences make that this music isn't easily approached; sometimes you would deem this way too quiet for a long time, and at times you could think this is way too loud (or simply fear for your speakers). It is very difficult to find the 'right' balance in playback, even if that is something you wish. Maybe the element of surprise and scare is something you are after, in which case this is the perfect place. - Frans De Waard

(Sound Projector) Michael Gendreau is the Californian genius behind Crawling With Tarts, a project with a duff name but whose records I often found quite engaging, with their use of mechanical moving parts and recycling of old recordings, from before a time when such actions were more commonplace. I donít think Iíve heard a solo record from Gendreau since the record he made in 2002 for the 23five label, so itís nice to receive a copy of Polvo Seran, Mas Polvo Enamorado (PUBLIC EYESORE PE140). This is entirely different from anything else Iíve heard MG do; itís spaced-out, minimalistic, yet almost remorseless in pursuit of its goals. The four pieces were all recorded at live venues, and he used ďaccelerometersĒ inside the performance space to arrive at what I must assume are highly specialised types of field recordings or documentaries. I have no idea what an accelerometer may be, and even after reading a few pages from electronics component suppliers I am none the wiser; it seems to have something to do with a branch of the physical sciences of which I am so wholly ignorant. At any rate, these devices were certainly not intended to be used for sound art purposes, and are probably of more use to engineers who need to understand something about the forces of gravity for a building project. Leave it someone of Gendreauís calibre to figure out a way to apply these devices to the generation of sounds. On these four lengthy recordings, the listener must be fairly patient to allow the grand work to unfurl itself (which it does at a somewhat unhurried pace), but one is then rewarded with an unusual view of familiar surroundings, one which overturns the natural dimensions we are so accustomed to, and the usual laws of light and space appear not to apply. The long (23 mins) title track is probably the most puzzling, and the most dynamic of the four; recorded at the underground film festival in Lausanne, it includes long tracts where not much seems to be happening (the aural equivalent of clouds drifting overhead) with shorter bursts of alarmingly loud squeals and eruptions, that feel like something going drastically wrong somewhere. We move slowly down a gradually changing passageway, a long canal of audio mystery. Even the semi-familiar sounds of voices talking or shouting in the distance are of little comfort to us on this strange ride. - Ed Pinsent

(Babysue) So...how truly open-minded are you when it comes to experimental music? The curiously open-minded folks at Public Eyesore seem to know no bounds when it comes to releasing a variety of different artists whose music goes all over the place and beyond. That's the magic of music, of course...it can go anywhere and blur into just about any kind of audio space that it wants to. Most people would say that Michael Gendreau's recordings are not music at all. But...does that really matter? Probably not in the big scheme of things, because...it doesn't make sense to put parameters on something when no parameters are really necessary. Listeners will be equally divided here. Polvo Seran, Mas Polvo Enamorado is a collection of pieces in which buildings are the speaker. If you've ever been strangely amazed at the echoes and vibrations coming from buildings when you touch them with your ear, this album will provide some particular intrigue for you. This could almost be described as industrial ambience, because you can either pay attention to these tracks or they can be played in the background to create an atmosphere or a mood. True, most folks won't have the slightest interest in recordings like this. But for that small but enlightened group of listeners with truly open minds, this one will be discussed and enjoyed for years to come. Curious lengthy tracks here. They're all strange. And they're all purely artistic creations with no regard whatsoever for any type of commercial appeal. We love this type of thing, of course. Not only because it's interesting to hear, but because it causes people to stop and think about things. Top pick. - Don Seven

(KFJC) A harrowing experience for djís awaits. Can you handle the silence, low levels, and diminutive sounds of equipment failure? Soft low-frequency purrs, machines turning slowly, empty space, a distant dog barking, muffled speech from down the hall, near sub-sonic drone, abrupt crashes of abstraction. Arrhythmic plinks, plunks, bumps, thumps, and clicks. White-noise. Automobile traffic from 9 miles away, android insects, footsteps, infrasonic vibrations, and a decrepit lathe. San Francisco based acoustician Michael Gendreau produces four tiny aural engravings that might cause you to peer at the cd player querulously and consider notifying Engineering about yet another cd player giving up the ghost. However, this is all according to plan as Gendreauís work on low noise and vibration for buildings implies a focus on space and the site-specific sounds produced therein.

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