Dusted Magazine

Sometimes a room is more than a room. In the matter at hand, it is a space that proposes a state of mind and a consequent set of experiences. It is also the score for a piece of music that extrapolate that state into the realm of sound. The cover of First Room depicts a pattern of tatami mats that you might find in a Japanese tea room. Martin Taxt is a microtonal tubaist and also the holder of an advanced degree in music and architecture (next time someone tells you that some good thing can’t happen, remember that in Norway you can not only get such a degree; you can then go ahead and present a CD that shows your work. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars, but in our society.). This music takes inspiration from the integrated aesthetic of the tea ceremony, using carefully placed and deliberately sustained sounds to create an environment in which subtle changes count for a lot. The album’s contents were created by mixing together two performances, one with and another without an audience. Taxt and accompanist Vilde Marghrete Aas layer long tones from a tuba, double bass, viola da gamba and sine waves. Their precise juxtapositions create a sense of focus, somewhat like a concentrated version of Ellen Fullman’s long string music, and if that statement means something to you, so will this music.

Bill Meyer