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Leimer, Kerry: The Listening Room

Sea Of Tranquility is the web destination for heavy metal, progressive metal and progressive rock. Look at the top of this web page see it on the banner? We are also getting quite good at fusion, particularly where it intersects with progressive rock.

So we feel somewhat uncomfortable reviewing music that is spacey, strangely structured, and more of an academic exercise then what we traditionalists would call music. But this CD arrived and we promised to be as objective as possible.

Kerry Leimer has run a design corp. 23 years, producing award winning annual reports for major corporations. So the marriage of art and technology will have come easily to him. Dorothy Cross, also involved in the business, took care of care of production and coordination for the album.

The Listening Room is the musical equivalent of a red dot and blue a stripe and a black splotch on a white canvas with a clever but meaningless title, and passed off as modern art. The point is that you get to decide what it means to you.

Imagine that you are in outer space (or simply spaced out either will do). There is a soft sequence of synthesized notes floating around, repeating itself. As you focus more closely you hear a second sequence in similar key but this sequence has a different length and is played to a different time signature. The 2 sequences are managed with computerized perfection, so they come together in a combination of notes that is always different. That is the 21 minute first track "Circle Of Grey".

The other tracks are similarly abstract. The sound is heavily synthesized, with a few occasional piano notes and a small amount of programmed percussion.

Kerry Leimer says these are not "songs" and the meaning will be difficult to find, but his goal is to create an intricate quiet. Yes, it is an intricate quiet. Mission accomplished. And no, they are not songs.

The Listening Room is an interesting concept that leaves the listener to decide what if anything to take from it. But is it music? It has definite merits, but as with modern art, that is for you to decide.

Refer also to our review of K. Leimer & T.Boley, Brittle Soft.

Added: September 30th 2003
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 2704
Language: english

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