Review: Tom Hall – Fervor

EL-04_frontIt’s wrong that my first impulse is to associate the word “environment” with the notions of stillness and permanence, parading the illusion that it’s down to me – the subject, the centre of everything – to generate movement and action as I navigate my surroundings. In several senses, Fervor puts me in my place. Through the medium of bustling electronic collage, the place in question forms as a futuristic metropolis in the midst of construction, defined as much as the vertiginous facades of part-built skyscrapers as by the twirling boughs of a dozen cranes and the stark trunks of powerlines, illuminated by the harsh lights of exposed bulbs and neon signs winking into nascent life, the air twitching as it bears the load of communicative digital signals for the first time.

Fervor is a music of exposed circuitry – a sprawling analogy to the very circuits that power each individual instrument. Synthesisers intersect eachother tentatively, the resultant melodies forming only the faintest outlines of their future selves, straddling a strange line between the melancholy and promise. I stand in the centre of these two pieces, and I feel a sort of relative paralysis as the world builds itself around me. Chords sliding across eachother at different speeds and gradually finding cohesion, pocked by the flicker of a thousand undiagnosed electronic faults. Compared to this panorama of intermittent voltage, shimmering lights and building site commotion, I’m utterly still; two ears anchoring the symphonious movement of environment all around me.