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Richard Chartier

Two Locations
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Two Locations
  • YEAR IN LOCAL MUSIC: TOP TEN: #5: Not that he needed to, but with Two Locations lowercase sculptor Richard Chartier made the bitch-slap to silence all those critics who cheekily described his electronic compositions as the sound of one hand clapping, pun intended. The disc is a roiling inner-space odyssey of sound puddle ripples colliding into waves that rush over the crenelated surfaces of the cerebellum like magic fingers, sculpting matter into morphing shapes and forms as if it were clay.
    (Baltimore City Paper, US)

  • When Pauline Oliveros initiated her concepts of deep listening, never was an axiom more descriptive of the sound-sculpturists recording on Line. Label co-proprietor Richard Chartier, whose Seriesrelease initialized the sublabel, charts the barest of entities on his contributions. The second most recent, Of Surfaces, is, simply, just that: literalized dust, the sound of particle litter blown across the tabletop, the tiny end-bursts of gnats diving into still water. Two Locations are a pair of long works designed for sound installation and gallery ambience, and are of a louder denomination than the previous disc, consisting of soothing background oscillations and extraordinarily minimal, almost Eno-esque striations. Only by increasing your volume output can the wow and flutter of these fragile, whispery motes become discernible. Yet, this is not music of amplitude modulation played at normal levels, outside intrusions are in fact encouraged into this tiniest of settings. If experienced in a sensory deprivation tank (headphone usage being the closest approximation), those external ambiences removed, the nuances of the sounds become isolated, magnified but that would remove their pure mysteriousness and innate charm, no?
    (e/i Magazine, US)

  • The man with the knack for re-creating the sound of one hand clapping comes correct with Two Locations. However, what’s noticeably different from many of his other releases is that you can actually hear what is going on without having to turn the headphones up to 11. Active and intense listening is still a prerequisite, of course, but the shifts in tones and textures are much more obvious than the majority of his creative output. Fans of Chartier’s work will be hard-pressed not to enjoy this, and people with newfound interest in Chartier’s development will find Two Locations the perfect starting point to explore the depths of Chartier’s silent sounds. 

  • The first track on this album part of the sound installation Untitled Location, exhibited at the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD September 10th, 2002. This track is very refined and sophisticated. The first ten minutes are full of delicate crisps and fine-tuned electronics. After that an accasional rumbling becomes evident and a static long-drawn electronic tune appears on the surface. More changes follow, all very very subtle and hardly noticeable. Most of the sounds Richard Chartier uses are quite clinical and cold, but his microtonality never creates a distance towards the listener. The second track was a 6-channel sound installation 3_components, exhibited at Fusebox Gallery, Washington, DC March, 4th 2002. Again Chartier combines minimal high-pitched electronics with a heavy bass. He does in such a way that the contrast of tones is in full harmony. The sounds he uses are pure and evolve very slowly. With this release Richard Chartier redefines the genre and electronic music, by enlarging miscroscopic sound particles. Excellent.
    (Phosphur, Germany)

  • Perhaps it helps to think of Richard Chartier’s Two Locations not so much as music but as a 47-minute visitation within a pair of sonic occurrences…. strange/subtle ones at that. Slight, churning radiance is infiltrated by equally-quiet effervescence in the opening minutes of “Location” (24:04); eventually, deeper dronecurrents grow louder, mostly dampening the fizz, sweeping in slowly arcing undulations of quasi-mechanical emanations. Brassy waves form the tighter ripples which seep from the entryway to “Component” (23:05). Later, lower frequencies just faintly whirl around like the essences from some thrumming machinery of contemplation. Softly electric atmospheres fill Two Locations with barely-there vapors thanks to Richard Chartier’s very subtle touch. Exceedingly ambient textures add wispy drones to your surroundings… oddly pleasing! B+ 
    (Ambientrance, US)

  • Moving, changing locations, slipping from one environment to another, we sometimes feel our lives undergo a major shift with each transition, as if one was not the same person before, in that other place, than he is here, in this new place. A change of location, a change of mind, of style, personality, memory… Richard Chartier, who is surely no stranger to readers of these pages, recently moved from his home outside of Washington DC to Baltimore, and one might say that he too has changed, though to what extent we could never really say. Two Locations compiles reworkings of two sound installations exhibited during the past year (one in Baltimore, the other in Washington). These two pieces certainly do mark a departure for Chartier, or at least a shift in attention, as these pieces focus less on the spaces between silence and sound as witnessed in much of his past work, but instead work on the idea of building consistent yet complex sound structures (albeit within a highly minimalist aesthetic) without any empty spaces in between. Silences are nowhere to be found here, save for the break between tracks, and, however notable some might think this is, considering his reputation (whether true or not) for being a composer of silences, this is not the most remarkable feature of these pieces. These two pieces are stunning constructions, developing with a slow, deliberate pace, every new or repeating sound (a light brushing of clicks, a sudden wave of bass) touching delicately on the surfaces of things in the listening space. When listening on loudspeakers, the natural ambience of the room becomes absorbed by these sounds. With a pair of excellent headphones, as with all of Chartier’s recordings, the pieces seem to change; they become more immediate, the sounds more delicate, the arrangements more detailed. Either way, you are sure to be drawn into these two locations, defined by their own architectures, cultures, streets and byways, fascinating places to be, if for even twenty minutes at a time. 
    (Incursion, Canada)

  • Our beloved minimalist composer Richard Chartier unlashes his seventh solo CD, which has two lengthy pieces of sound, composed for two sound installations. The piece called ‘Location’ opens very soft but over the course of 24 minutes it gradually becomes thicker and thicker. From the high end beginning to the more bassy parts in the middle to end with high ends again. The sound source might be quite limited here, Chartier builts a fine piece with it. Ambient and minimal, but also of am extreme nature – inaudible at times, very dymanic at others. The second piece ‘Component’ was ‘based in part n the 6-channel sound installation ‘3 components’ and is even more extreme. Playing a Chartier CD at a considerable volume can be a necessary thing but in this case ear damaging too. The bass is very present! As the piece progresses, it gets sparser and sparser, until it seems to have disappeared.
    (Vital Weekly, Netherlands)