Review: Sharon Gal – Delicious Fish

The thread of the voice can lead back to either the body or the spirit. On Sharon Gal’s “Etude For Three Voices V”, the thread forks and leads to both simultaneously, as the composition captures both the falter of human expression and the immaculate transcendence of congregative choral song. And of course, the boundary between these states is forever blurred; it doesn’t take much to unravel that claustrophobic chorus of vowels – like creatures trapped in the depths of a well – into an astral horizon line that stretches into infinity. The reverb intensifies; the gaps between inhales and exhales melt into nothing. All of a sudden, the shapes of these quivering bodies dissolve; the voices that project into the skies soon become the sky itself. Similarly, the five minutes of “Bloo” feels like a duet between body and the immaterial, as glottalstops and withered falsettos skip across loops of vocal drone. The mouth is both an enclosure for the miniscule and a gateway to the immeasurable.

Even as Gal leaves the voice behind, this duality continues through the 20 minutes of “Guitar Music”. In essence, it’s a shepherding of electricity; a spool of prolonged feedback tones, teased out by the most delicate of tilts and interventions. The noise rolls out of the instrument as one might guide a marble across a glass tabletop. Yet through multiple layers of echo saturation, Gal turns the raw act of exciting a string into vibration that spills beyond material limits. The guitar disappears. The micro-amplifier disappears. Gal disappears. All that’s left is a rich, edgeless humming, cut free from the intimate, cyclical process that brought it to be.