Multiplicity: Solo Piano Improvisations & Construc
"...an intense, mercurial, rhythmically explosive music...his right hand [was] making an impossibly rapid run over the keyboard, while his left hand was moving in a different direction and at a different tempo to form a different kind of figuration." --Jonathan Cott, Elle 'If music is to last, it has to go deeper than the notes. Bruce Novack's does.' --Nat Hentoff NEW REVIEW by Rigobert Dittmann in the German magazine Bad Alchemy: Bruce Novack, MULTIPLICITY (Crevice Records, Crevice 17): Although he has his expert admirers, Novack remains a treasured secret.... Novack is a solo piano improviser...after hearing the first sequences of squirted-about notes, my ears perked up. Here is someone who plays outside the system, following his own rules, which makes it hard to compare. Quick and sharp fragments and edgy cascades collide with something carefully incubated in 'Impulse' or something introspective in 'Interior.' The titles 'Quarry' and 'Stone' indicate that here is someone who extricates his forms with hammer and chisel. But less so with the urge for freedom and exuberance of a Berlin Wall woodpecker, rather with the fine sense for the veins in marble. Then 'Monts Mandara' listens again to the innermost-the introspective gaze focuses on a volcanic mountain range in northern Cameroon. 'In Between Edges' alternates between crystalline effervescence and melancholic echoes of individual notes and atmospheric voids. The central piece, certainly, is the 21-minute 'Quantum Wall,' a multi-track monster, where Novack piles pianos on top of each other forming a monument to Conlon Nancarrow. Like a gigantic fountain, clusters of notes are cascading, myriads of sounds ranging from dull-dark to mercurial-light. The finale is like an echo of that, a molecular eruption of a completely liquefied piano. Finger Paintings (Crevice 13) demonstrated that Novack is not an entirely new apparition. Already in 1988 his fingers were racing like a centipede across the zebra crossing of the piano, already then Novack contrasted denseness and richness a la Cecil Taylor-almost a grotesque overabundance-with transparent moments under Saturnian sign. A calf with two heads and at least four hands, smiled upon by only one moon. And by me. NEW REVIEW by Massimo Ricci in Touching Extremes: Bruce Novack, MULTIPLICITY (Crevice): ...'Quantum Wall' [is] a lengthy tape piece constructed via the superimposition of a number of improvisations which ends sounding like a cross of a humongous Charlemagne Palestine and a tsunami... Novack is...gifted with an abnormal independence of the hands to the point that, when one listens to certain impossible-to-decode runs juxtaposed with apparently disjointed yet rock-hard clusters, believing that we're in front of a lone doer becomes difficult... Everything seems to fall in it's place at the very right moment, chords, flurries and single pitches popping out like mushrooms wherever necessary. ...brilliant stuff. "Entirely unpredictable, Novack draws the listener's attention with a demanding, energetic performance, collapsing time frames and tonality into dramatic patterns of activity and reflection. Novack leaves behind the usual limits of musicality with these abstract forms, rarely even hinting of other musical influences or reference points." --Option "[Novack's] improvisations are shaped around his conception of time, which he telescopes, compresses, and distorts at the keyboard, twisting a space filled with notes and clusters of notes that take on the characteristics of solid objects. Patterns and phrases form, roll or drift past, and vanish, often to reappear in contexts more ominous, playful, or bewildering than before." --The Village Voice "Novack has carved out a vital niche for himself in improvised music... Like the elucidations of the most insightful artists, Novack's demand repeated exposures for additional rewards." --Cadence "a kind of Nancarrow-played-by-human-hands effect." --Option "Novack's commitment to his vision is inspiring." --Keyboard.