Ted Byrnes “Moving My Body Through Space”

I’ve always been drawn to Ted Byrnes’s solo percussion work because of its tactile nature and meditative qualities. These are scattered sound worlds to get lost in, but not because they are full of sweeping open expanses and slow-moving, contemplative tones. It’s the opposite, really. Within the quick-paced passages and condensed spaces, Byrnes urges focus. 

“Spin” pushes along, hollow metallic pitter-pats building resonance like a thousand tiny ants building a dirt mountain. Each successive run-through adds a new layer that holds energy and as the pace continues moving quickly, I find myself lost inside the muffled repetition, drifting. Byrnes explores the changing tonal qualities inside a raucous hell, coming alive as frequencies collide on “Metallic.” Sheets of clanging noise overwhelm the senses, a maximal reverie awash in serrated shards.

Byrnes is in constant motion through Moving My Body Through Space, never missing an opportunity for forward progression. “Through Water” thrums beneath an aqueous filter, rising briefly before falling back into the dirt. Prop planes and wind add to the grass-strewn confines of “As If a Friend,” the outdoor setting becoming another zone for Byrnes to incorporate, expanding the sonic palette even further. His dexterity and seemingly endless pool of ideas make for an invigorating listen. Moving My Body Through Space is such a wonderful surprise.

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