Matthew Whiteside’s new album is one of those breezy affairs exploring the water cooler topics of Quantum Theory and Entanglement. Challenge accepted?
Title track ‘Entangled’ is an audio exposition of the work of physicist, John Stewart Bell (Matthew’s great uncle) and was commissioned by the Institute of Physics. Bell’s work demonstrated that in the quantum realm, particles entangle themselves in spooky ways and if reading that makes perfect sense to you then please email us so you can become The Prickle’s correspondent for sonification of scientific data.
Aurea Quartet are the contemporary trailblazers taking on Whiteside’s compositional responses to paradoxical scientific principle and this academic dissonance is apparent in different degrees throughout the record. Quartet No. 4 falls into three movements —Waves, Spooky Action, Spinning— and the repetitive echoes of ideas mimic the electronic work the composer has built a reputation for. With Quartets numbers 5 and 6 also featured on the record, there’s opportunity to hear and consider how this style of inspiration and writing is capable of generating various shapes when placed within the parameters of a string quartet. Whereas No. 4 is indeed ‘spooky’, No. 5 moves in and out of focus as the microtonal progressions ebb and flow. Quartet No. 6 (which opens the collection) possesses a more conventional string quartet shape at least in the opening although this quickly dissolves into more obscure gestures and ruminations.
Entangled is out on 25 October: pre-orders come with 2 early release tracks via Bandcamp.