Horațiu Rădulescu - Clepsidra / Astray

Horațiu Rădulescu - Clepsidra / Astray

Verdict: 3.5/5

Edition RZ


ED. RZ 1007



Written By

Dragos Rusu


February 3, 2014

''The four historical musical paradigms - monody, polyphony, homophony, and heterophony - are actually quite impossible to distinguish from one another within this living sound that can only be comprehended from a global perspective, resembling the blue image of earth as viewed from outer space''. - Horațiu Rădulescu

This 2 pieces composition is the first LP recorded by Romanian-French avant-garde music composer Horațiu Rădulescu, best known for his ‘spectral music’ approach. Other similar Romanian musicians who featured the spectralism concept in their music are Iancu Dumitrescu and Ștefan Niculescu.

''Clepsydra'' was composed in 1982 for 16 Sound Icons. The Sound Icon is a grand piano laying vertically on its side, with the strings played by bowing. ‘Astray’ (1983) for Double Duo was composed for the Roma Villa Medici Musica Festival where it premiered, in 1984.

The term spectral music originates from the French composer Hugues Dufourt, a trained philosopher and composer, also the author of several important articles on spectral music. Other musicians featured on this musical technique are Gérard Grisey, Tristan Murail, Michael Levinas, and the German Feedback group, principally Johannes Fritsch, Mesias Maiguashca, Peter Eötvös, Claude Vivier and Clarence Barlow.

I have to warn you: there’s no easy way with this album. Nothing gentle or sweet, resigned and friendly melodies, discretely passing by, in order to appeal to the listener’s ears. No, none of this stuff.. It doesn’t appeal, but challenge and defy even the smartest audiophiles around. It is strongly encouraged to play it from an analogue source, most preferably vinyl, since the music is too complex for a 16bit/44hz digital audio experience, like I have.

You should prepare for a full mind-blowing listening experience, after checking these steps first: take two carrots from the fridge, put them in a half-full glass of water, keep them in there for nine months, and after add 50 grams of ketchup sauce, and wait another three months. After a complete full year, choose the first Tuesday from January, get yourself a copy of the record, go in a large square downtown, get some big speakers. Get yourself a few shots of vodka for the cold, drink the glass of water with carrots and please, play the record as nicely as possible.


1. Clepsydra
2. Astray

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