Tibor Szemző: Tractatus | 25 January 1996

Scene Magazine | Chris Meloche | record review | 25 January 1996 | English (Leo Records) Tractatus is a work which, in many ways, pushes the boundaries of so-called “minimalist” composition. It is a piece which covers a half-hour of time with very small and quiet progressions. At its core is a male voice hummming a few notes repeatedly, while a similarly stripped down bassline adds a few more notes to the picture. As the piece progresses, snippets of text are

introduced intermittently. The text – in seven different Ianguages – is taken from the writings of the late Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951). Other instrument sounds -percussion, synthesizer – are subtly drawn into the mix over the course of the work’s duration. They wander in unannounced and vanish as mysteriously as they appear. Tractatus is a quiet, sombre and thoughtful work which stands in a category by itself. It could be termed “minimalist” or even “ambient” but, neither one of these categorizations does it particulary appropriate justice. It is a soundwork which teases the auditory senses from a distance and draws the listener into its own engaging world. I don’t believe that I have ever heard a work which sounds quite like this recording. Engrossing and hypnotic. Chris Meloche