There's something meaty - fleshy-sounding - about some of these 60 x one-minute pieces: the glottal schlapps, the tongue-i-ness of them; flapping dog jowls, hot breath, saliva being moved around, pharyngeal kinetics, spontaneous cake-hole compositions, mucus-muscle-music.
Sorry, if that's too much for you: some of these are visceral, intimate, straight from the heart-via-the-gob. Not Phil Minton or Furious Pig; Turku's very own Rene Kita makes his very own mark on Mouth Music.
I'm a fan, of course - I've blogscribbled about Rene before, even made an after-the-fact album with him - but this is very good; it shouldn't work - should get tiresome / irritating after a while - but it doesn't. The one-minute track lengths work in its favour - nothing outstays its welcome - but its unyielding originality and wit are what makes it a winner.
Some of the pieces are rhythmic: I like the one that sounds like a breathy pumping-station, and the one that sounds like Derek Nimmo jogging. Another is full of popping saliva pools, spittle bubbling as if in a spa or hot springs. Another goes: "Doook-eh dooo - eh?" on-and-on with splashes of reverb and tremelo added, but it's strangely catchy; elsewhere, stoned monks attempt a chamber barber-shop version of vespers; a Dada Doo-wop group create a new linguistically fractured form of Hip-Hop; angry men circle us, buzzing like wasps.
Some pieces are abstractive - voice-art pieces; Mouth Concrete - yet oddly 'decorative'; others suggest almost-genres or unfathomable rituals documented by some semantic archaeologist or semioanthropologist; an avant Levi-Strauss. Others are pure raw emotion: an exasperated throat-groan that multiplies and threatens to never end. And that out-of-breath half-pant / half-sigh that hints at one bad day too many, one last not-quite straw-breaking little life-knock that wasn't needed: 60 seconds long, wordless, but signposting more emotional backstory than a two-hour film or theatre-piece.
I asked Rene if he'd explain a bit about this CDR (it's part of a much larger project that's running in parallel with his epic, decades-spanning calligraphic face-art work - "One Million Faces Before I Die") and he came through like a trooper:
"I started this project (making one minute of music with just my voice as material each day) some four months ago.
"I have a parallel project of drawing one hundred faces a day, and I learned that inspiration comes to those who spend the most time thinking about art and music - unless you want inspiration for making good pizza, of course.
"Another thing I learned: Limitations are a gateway to freedom.
"I don't need to think how each work relates to the others.
"The length and the voice tie each song to the others, so I can go wild in all other respects. One minute is a useful length for stating and exploring one musical idea, and it fits my schedule: If I'm busy, I'll just improvise for a minute.
"When I have time, I build wonky rhythms and dissonances with various tools (Audacity, schism tracker, LMMS...).
"Why ten thousand? Well, it's a cute number:
"(Tao Te Ching, chapter 42:
'Tao gives birth to one,
One gives birth to two,
Two gives birth to three,
Three gives birth to ten thousand beings.')
and it means that I will have no need to get a life until I'm about 77."
The on-going project will be archived here.