Brett’s Sound Picks: Kara-lis Coverdale’s “Ad_renaline”

“Music is an adjectival experience.”

-Simon Frith (Performing Rites, p. 263)

The mood of Canadian organist and composer Kara-Lis Coverdale’s “Ad_renaline” is optimistic, though tinged with mystery too. The music is made up of layers of organ (organ-ish?) sounds and voices. We hear three pulsing staccato chords of uneven counts repeating a two measure phrase, with echoing and swirling counter lines floating high above, answering and filling in the texture, low and slow bass tones stretching things out below, and a choir of female voices (the composer herself?) singing four melancholy descending notes. Like ice cubes melting, the layers of organ and voices soon dissolve into transparent traces of their former state, leaving us at the end of this inspiring piece with just a sketch of that original pulsation.

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