If Brian Eno, Paul Horn, and Harry Partch collaborated in the caverns of an active volcano, they might come up with something like what award-winning artist, instrument inventor, and musician Ela Lamblin, with producer Tucker Martine and guest artist Vishal Nagar, has created on his new CD, Long Period Events.
This album takes its name from the work of volcanologist Bernard Chouet. Lamblin learned of Chouet’s work through a PBS documentary on methods to predict volcanic eruptions. Chouet discovered that the pattern of sounds coming from deep in the earth before an eruption create an occurrence of “long period events,” a sort of musical prelude to the main event, the eruption. When the long period events occur in rapid succession, a sustained signal results. The volcano then is literally singing its tune, its siren song: “I'm under pressure here. I’m going to blow at the top.”
Uncannily Lamblin invented his musical instrument the Violcano – a large resonating steel cone strung with piano wire strings, like a cross between a volcano and a viola – before he knew that volcanoes make music. Bowed, hammered, or plucked, the Violcano produces a variety of percussive grooves, cascading harmonics, and cello-like melodies, evocative of something vast and old, well suited to Lamblin’s globally influenced, modal, raga-based style.
Lamblin, forever curious about vibration as it relates to energy, form, mass, and the universe, is a specialist in exploiting various shapes and materials to generate acoustic vibrational activity. With steel, bronze, stone, seaweed, Styrofoam, wood, plastic, and other materials, he creates instruments that he calls musical sculptures.
While the  such instruments on Long Period Events are startling and unique in the ingenuity of their construction, it is the music itself, created by Ela’s playing and composing, by producer/collaborator Tucker Martine’s mastery of modern technology in enhancing sound, and by the extended lyrical solo by tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar, that makes this listening experience a rich inward journey to a place that you have never been, but seems familiar.
Each track on Long Period Events takes its name and mood from a different aspect of volcanic activity. From the foreshadowing notes of “Harmonic Tremors” to the wide open movement of “Pyroclastic Flows” to the final ten-minute coalescing “Epicenter,” each track is both an experience unto itself and part of a greater period of musical activity which is the entire album. With Long Period Events Lamblin has created a recording that adventurously forges new directions, breaking the old mold to fabricate a new one with twists of mood from delicate to powerful, with a sound that is both ancient and modern.
Ela Lamblin’s musical sculptures are featured in live performance by Lelavision Physical Music, which Lamblin co-directs with choreographer Leah Mann. . Tucker Martine
has produced albums with Bill Frizell, Laura Veers, Wayne Horvits, Jim White, Mudhoney, and many others. Vishal Nagar has performed all over India and in the United States, Sweden, Germany, and Denmark. See attached bios for more information on participating artists.