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andrewcsmith on 03/05/2010 at 03:59PM

Fields of rising, falling sound

David Daniell works in transparencies and onion-skin shapes, and recurring, overlapping tones. Daniell slices the layers of drone to create something optimistic and mobile. As he layers the sounds, each new sound changes somewhat the meaning of the ones that already exist, and these sounds cycle in and out so that the shapes are constantly shifting. Daniell interrupts these environments with loose, melancholy pickings, that evoke some kind of campfire in the forest, where the pulsing high pitches are a cicada choir.

Daniell’s work gives the impression of travelling through a universe of sound sources, so that they fade in and out with no perceivable order. It is not quite narrative, but a slow transition, building to a one-man guitar army with some clear connection to Daniell’s work as concertmaster for Rhys Chatham’s large-scale guitar performances.

Yet, the one-man performance, while similar sonically, is far removed from Chatham’s compositions. Daniell, in a feat that would be impossible with a guitar army, oscillates between the cosmic and the personal, effortlessly fusing orchestral power and scope with the intimacy of a solo performance.

This recording, from Daniell’s February 12 performance at ISSUE, was a part of the Unsound Festival, presented by the Polish Cultural Institute, among many others. Daniell’s recent Table of the Elements release, I IV V I, was a part of their Guitar Series, which is ongoing. All of his albums are available from his site, as well as from various other independent stores.


david daniell


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