Wind Bells Falls
Robbie Lee and Lea Bertucci
“Glitter and Gleam,” the leadoff single for Robbie Lee and Lea Bertucci’s collaboration Wind Bells Falls immediately brings you into the altered domain of their engaging approach to sound art. An essay for warped celeste, it provides a sense of musique concrète while also exploring a playful sensibility. Bell-like timbres ricochet throughout the soundfield, supplying exactly what the title suggests.
Throughout the nine pieces on the recording, the duo deploys winds, keyboards, and tape machines. Their specialties include using acoustic instruments in unconventional ways and distressing tape to make it sound synthetic. “Image Mirror” features wild flute overdubs, once again kaleidoscopically transformed. They sound like the wailing riff from an Arkestra member’s free jazz solo chasing itself around the room.
It is striking how willing the artists are to restrict their palette to a limited and distinctive set of sounds for each track. On “Bags, Boxes, and Bubbles,” chiming chords are set against glissandos in a reiterative dialogue. Via an excellent segue, this morphs into duets of slides and trills on “Division Music.”
The duo stretch out on “Azimuth,” retaining small collections of sounds for discrete sections but gradually morphing between them through a process of addition and subtraction of new timbres and motifs. Baying shards gradually build into a registrally delineated rhythmic canon, a venerable composition device redeployed in this experimental context. The album closes with a delicate miniature, “Somebody Dream,” in which chimes and delicate cooing afford a lullaby sendoff to this unusual and diverting recording.