Conceived, created, recorded, and mixed during a three-month residency in Worpswede, Germany, composer-improviser Burkhard Beins’ CD Structural Drift uses found sounds along with custom-made electronics, an e-bow zither, various percussion, and synthesizer to reflect Worpswede’s verdant, isolated environment. A notable audio collage results.
Of varying lengths, Beins’ three composed “drifts” each reflect different properties. Packed with reverberation and bulky intonation that could come from a massed choir, the longest track varies the sound field by alternating single chime strokes and wooden block pops with agitated percussive timbres. This juxtaposition of materials, which often interrupts the swelling and reverberating drones with stop-start electrical buzzes, seeps into the other tracks as well. This is especially apparent when the extended tones are layered with simultaneously undulating timbres that reflect back onto one another as the pieces advance and finally dissolve. Evidence of Beins’ skill at timbre manipulation is most evident during the finale. Evolving in a parallel fashion, staccato synthesized signals chirp like birdsong, while sharing space with recordings of rushing water that have been processed to resemble blurry mechanized drones.