Review: Connor C. Ellis – Improvisations with Various Objects, Gestures, and Weather Conditions (self-released, Jun 28)

Improvisations with Various Objects, Gestures, and Weather Conditions is a wonderful title for sound artist Connor C. Ellis’s newest release, not only because of its inclusion of the Oxford comma or even because of how straightforwardly descriptive it is; the album’s humble heading, track names, and cover art are a nondescript argument for the power of unconventional sound sourcing. Yes, each track is just what its title states, an improvisation using the provided materials, but Ellis touches on truly breathtaking subliminity with his minimal approach, an enrapturing quality only enhanced by the album’s modesty. This direct relationship goes even further when the sounds that the listener hears are made more mysterious by their clearly elucidated source material. This is especially the case with “(water, gravity),” where a tactile soundscape materializes from percussive clicks that, to me, sound much more like a crackling campfire than falling water. Improvisations is one of those special works where singular simplicity is imbued with beauty and emotion via the ears and gestures of a creative artist.

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