Arnold Dreyblatt's 'Resonant Relations'

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A visual aspect dominates the works of the American-born, Berlin-based composer Arnold Dreyblatt. Notes conspire to form textures and colors that bring touches of multimedia to one specific medium over the course of deliberate and meditative repetitions. Unsurprisingly, Dreyblatt is also a visual artist.

In just two tracks totaling roughly 45 minutes, Dreyblatt’s newest disc, Resonant Relations is tantamount to the composer’s evocative aesthetic. The title track builds on a single tone, the convergence point for the instruments of Dublin’s adventurous Crash Ensemble, in a means of coming together that rings similar to Varèse’s Tuning Up, diving into an equally Varèsian play on timbres and rhythms. Dreyblatt’s unique tuning system weaves commonalities and differences between Crash’s instruments—from harpsichords to wooden flutes to metal pieces—together as one. The major feat here, too, is Dreyblatt’s ability to extend this stream-of-sonic-consciousness for over half an hour, moving like Joyce from one thought to the next, always in control but at the same time beguilingly abstract and surreal.

The pairing to Resonant Relations, twentyfive chords in twentyfive in ninety four variations, is as ambitious as its title suggests—once again focusing on Dreyblatt’s singular means of tuning that employs unique harmonics and pitches to create hypnotically unsettling chords. Here, 25 of these chords are repeated in 95 distinct ways. What could be an exercise in tedium is, at the hands of Crash Ensemble, a meditative vinyasa through the composer’s inimitable sound world.

Arnold Dreyblatt: Resonant Relations
Crash Ensemble
Cantaloupe Records
Available at

More in:

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.

Follow WQXR 







About Q2 Music Album of the Week

Q2 Music's Album of the Week is our weekly review of the newest and most dynamic contemporary classical releases. It focuses on musical discovery, world premiere recordings and fresh perspectives on today's classical landscape. Read our review and stream the album on-demand for one week only at


Follow Q2 Music