When: Wed., April 27, 8:30 p.m. 2016
There are many, perhaps too many, experimental-electronic musicians in New York City, but few put as much thought into the aural presentation of their work as Lesley Flanigan. Not only does Flanigan build her own instruments, she also performs with speakers and microphones that she constructed, establishing a level of control over her sound that hardly any performers can match. A cursory listen to her music will likely lead nerds to flippantly group Flanigan in with contemporary drone artists, but her compositions are more textural, defined, and layered. The title track of the recently released Hedera (Physical Editions) reminds me more of Steve Reich than any other forgettable drone album that makes the Wire’s year-end list. Persistent, percussive scratching of what sounds like wood grain acts as the baseline pulse of the piece, and as Flanigan gradually threads her vocal harmonies, they dissolve into each other, creating an immeasurable, vaporous musical backdrop. Flanigan will perform “Hedera” live, but expect it to take on dimensions beyond what’s on the album. And anticipate that it will be equally, if not more, hypnotizing.