Disposition by Lucas Norer

Lucas Norer | Disposition
self-released (BK/USB/DL)

This latest recording from Austrian a/v artist Lucas Norer, Disposition, is a creative salute to the largest open-air instrument in the world: the Heroes’ organ (built in 1931) in Kufstein Fortress, Austria. Washes of hiss and synthetic ambient at the outset lead into splintered passages that are fairly chill. Orgelwind, as the opener, is muted and more of an introductory warm-up than anything else. Followed by the excitable Music in the Winds emerging with a bold swirl of organ only to fade back into inner rumbling as if wearing some kind of ear protection upon a rough patch of road through a thunderstorm. There is a lot of surface noise seeping through, still all is held so close to the chest.

Moving on electronic tones and voices (presumably in German with inflections of French) seem to tender the proceedings as if narrating. Also, a hint of a choir humming on Register makes for a haunting bit that is quite effective. This is a strange homage, one that seems to want to tug at the soul of the past by using tomorrow’s technology, but finding its sweet-spot somewhere in union of the two.

The album “Disposition” is part of a limited edition publication with the same title. The artist book and the enclosed USB flash drive (containing the album “Disposition”) encompasses the product of my artistic dealings with the Kufstein Heroes’ Organ. Together with the accompanying texts by Franz Gratl, Michael Gerhard Kaufmann and myself, the artistic exploration presented in this publication reveals the chequered past and present of this instrument and monument in addition to scrutinising its usage, context and political significance as well as its features and aesthetics. The title “Disposition” is a play on words based on the German expression “zur Disposition stellen”, which roughly means to put something up for negotiation or call something into question, and the technical organ term “Disposition”, which refers to the specification, or stoplist, of an organ. – Lucas Norer

Proposal for a Monument is so beautifully restrained, with added birdcalls, church bells, and ambient organ, again with sensual washes of pixelation. It’s a musical call to action to the townspeople of the community, done with through blurred memory. Norer adds the rush of the wind into the scene, only further dramatizing this bleary dreamscape.

The timeless quality is tangible, in that this plays on history and the re-enactment thereof, on the ritual of a church service, and the faded pages of the past. The balance between organ and synth is most evident in the pulsating tones of Kamerad, perhaps inferring fallen soldiers of war, lost family and friends. The composer is smart to add short vignettes that break the pace of the shifting harmonies, as if walking through doors into reflective spaces where quietude is the norm. In the Last Movements, attention is drawn back to the alignment of the organ, it’s scaling pitch, and the variable ways of actually hearing its grandiose cadences, sometimes through a stretched filter, and as clear as day, either way the effect is mythical and quixotic as it fades from view, and the listener drifts.

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