i8u – 10-33cm (MP3 by Room40) 2008
Another conceptually provocative piece from Canada’s France Jobin, operating under the name “i8u”. “10.33cm” purports to be directly influenced by String Theory, a kind of Music of the Spheres for the New Age, directly associated with the relative sound frequencies of the strings that make up the physical universe. Although largely unproven, and still theoretical, the concept of String Theory has captivated the minds and imaginations of many creative types, and here, Jobin tests the theory in sound.
What materializes is a complex and densely worked set of 7 pieces, named String 1, String 2, String 3, etc. each piece corresponding to a set of parameters initiated by the artist, relating to each string type. From this somewhat ambitious point of departure, we are treated to a rangy set of works that encompass everything from the shimmering tonalities of the opening piece,(that opens with a blister of static, the sonic equivalent of the background radiation of the universe) to the glistening, expansive ambiences as exemplified on String 3, and the more sharply focussed elements of String 2 and String 6, where Jobin systematically takes the listener on a series of sonically intriguing transitions and deformations, taking in the lower end of the auditory spectrum, with rich, reverberant cascades of sound. As an attempt at realising a theoretical concept , then perhaps 10.33cm is still in the elementary stages, but with all of the theoretical gesturing aside, this is a masterfully wrought set of minimalist ambiences, deep in scope, and ambitious in its execution, a technically perfect series that you (like myself) will return to again and again. Excellent.