Sound Choice No. 17 1992 196w

pg 73

STEVE BISSINGER Hearings in the Perimeter C

This comes across like a sampler of compositional styles and possibilities. It's obvious that Bissinger has some talent as a "new music" composer and artist. The title piece is in the musique concrete vein, opening with a mournful, wailing electronic choir, abruptly replaced by a dry rattling, then rhythmic scrapings, and finally, more of the choir and a series of low frequency electronic pulses which are as much felt as heard. Very strange. The second piece is a dissonant but attractive work for synthesizer, using legato synth strings and a repeating loop of brittle tone clusters, plus other electronic sounds; one can almost imagine an earlier 20th century composer like Schoenberg or Webern writing such a piece for synthesizer, if the instrument had existed. Side two starts with a fragmented but intriguing live piece for orchestral group titled "Pachibel's Nightmare." This avant chamber jazz uses five saxophones. Other pieces demonstrate Bissinger's interest in odd timbres and harmonic voicings. Bissinger doesn't sound like anyone else, and his music is teeming with possibilities. (Steve Bissinger, 3477 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118) -- Bill Tilland