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Eric Glick Rieman - "In My Mind, Her Image Was Reversed"

I love the work of Eric Glick Rieman, who plays modified and prepared electric piano. In My Mind, Her Image Was Reversed exposes his work in a clearer and more concise manner than the triple set Trilogy from the Outside. Here, I can hear every gesture clearly - keys, bowed rods, manipulations. From a single instrument - modified to produce 8 interdependent sound sources mixed live - he manages to weave a whole sound universe. It's fascinating, sweet, original and truly unique.

      - François Couture, Monsieur Delire

The world of experimental music is full of prepared piano pieces and other usages of extended technique on the standard instrument. Much rarer is the use of extended technique on a prepared Rhodes electric piano, but trust a Mills grad to explore such a thing, as Berkeley dandy Eric Glick Rieman has over the past decade. Putting his MFA in Electronic Music to good use, the sounds heard on In My Mind, Her Image Was Reversed evoke far more grandiose images than just an electric piano. Yet this album was made entirely on a Rhodes, which comes as a shock considering all the weird percussive and atmospheric sounds Rieman live mixes through eight interdependent channels, modified from the Rhodes' original single output. At times, this sounds more like it was recorded at a woodworking shop on a farm than at a studio, given its insect-like sounds and all manner of scraping and knocking created through the use of seeds, springs, washers, quartz, paper, marbles, a wire brush and more. Yet out of the more pastoral and rustic evocations flow fragments of melody set against repetitive noises and vice-versa, hinting at Rieman's appreciation for the indeterminacy and slowly developing compositions of Morton Feldman. With In My Mind, Her Image Was Reversed, like an abstract expressionist painting, one never feels pushed to bring the whole picture into focus, rather allowing the shapes and colours of the piece to exist and evolve.

      - Alan Ranta, Exclaim! Canada

Berkley, CA-based experimental musician Eric Glick Rieman works with a specially adapted Rhodes electric piano, which has had its cover removed to expose the tines and transistors which are key to the instrument's sound so he can operate them directly with his hands, mallets or anything else he can think off. Additionally, the instrument is fitted with extended sound boards upon which are placed zinc rods, which can be bowed or hit. A keen improviser, Glick Rieman released his first album of prepared electric piano, Ten To The Googolplex, on Accretions ten years ago, and went on to form the DalabaFrithGlickRiemanKihlstedt quartet two years later. His second solo effort, Lung Tree, was published on ReR in 2005. In My Mind, Her Image Was Reversed follows Eric Glick Rieman's Trilogy From The Outside set of releases, published on Water Goes Into Air last year and sees him return to Accretions.

Recorded entirely with a prepared Rhodes 73 Stage Piano in the Sangre de Cristo mountains in New Mexico, this album expends greatly on the standard aspect of the instrument by introducing an almost infinite palette of sounds and noises, from miniature percussive tones and loops to brushed paper, fingers hitting keys or coarse sonic components. While possibly an interesting visual addition to a live performance, what exactly triggers these sounds or how they actually materialise is pretty irrelevant to the resulting soundtrack here. Of course, the use of a particular type of washer or a very specific type of quartz, as is the case here, may be intrinsic to a singular sound or texture, but the fabric of these improvisation is so rich and enchanting that it become the sole aspect worthy of attention.

Glick Rieman creates here a series of intricate structures which revolve around miniature sonic formations and extremely delicate fragments of melody. These appear to forever cluster into minimalist configurations and never settle for very long. In the space of just a few minutes, Glick Rieman manages to create a dreamy world and make it develop and flourish before moving on, starting from scratch again. These are not necessarily entirely disconnected from each other however. The particles of texture and music which form much of the epic twenty-minute Reiterated, Opinion Changes Meaning are echoed on the delicate flowing theme of the title track further down, while What's Said, Reinterpreted By Future Hearers and Reinventing Belief share a very similar sense of empty space and how their respective components are placed in relation to it, and, as The Past, Aerated opens, the machine-like shuffle of its opening sequence appears to expend on the enigmatic soundscape heard on Transmigrating Flock Of Beliefs.

By adding self-referenced points, Eric Glick Rieman blurs the overall outlines of these six improvisations and confuses his audience enough to give this record a dreamy feel. Music often takes a back step here as he focuses on creating convincing soundscapes, but elements of melody regularly bubble up to the surface to remind the listener that Glick Rieman is before all a musician, albeit one with a very singular vision.


      - themilkman, themilkfactory

Eric Glick Rieman est le premier à ma connaissance à préparer un piano électrique et à l'enregistrer en solo. Mon savoir d'historien ne va pas bien loin, disons que c'est le premier que j'entends et que c'est un choc. Je suis frappé par l'ampleur du son obtenu, sa richesse d'harmoniques et son aération. Sur la pochette, Rieman donne toutes les explications techniques nécessaires : matériel de préparation, effets appliqués (boucle, delay, reverb, distorsion) et modification de la sortie unique en huit sorties indépendantes qu'il mixe pendant le jeu.

Rieman pénètre dans un monde sonore qu'il active avec beaucoup de sensualité, d'intelligence, et une retenue qui n'est que l'effet de ces qualités. Il n'y entre pas en triomphateur mais comme l'invité de sa propre création, c'est cette position qui fait la magie de sa musique. Tous les sens en sont affectés, cette musique se branche en direct sur le corps de l'auditeur, on a le sentiment que l'audition vient remplacer et exhausser les autres sens, celui du toucher surtout, parcourant le corps d'effets de drapés ou de coups d'aiguilles délicats. Les titres des morceaux participent à l'unité de la musique : Oublier la croyance / Ce qui est dit, réinterprété par les auditeurs futurs / Réitérée, l'opinion change le sens / Paquets de croyances en migration / Dans mon esprit son image était inversée / Le passé, aéré / La croyance réinventée. La musique tient parfaitement ce pari de la mise en balance, du renversement, comme dans la vision, comme dans l'harmonie ; mise en théâtre et métaphore magistrale.

      - Noel Tachet, Improjazz

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