Petr Kotik – The Plains at Gordium, performed by Talujon (Unseen Worlds, LP/CD/digital)

Petr Kotik is the founder and leader of the S.E.M. Ensemble, which in the past five decades has made a name for itself with interpretations of various works by, among others, John Cage, Morton Feldman or most recently Alvin Lucier. Kotik's work as a composer, however, has rarely been widely acknowledged. »The Plains at Gordium« finally rectifies this obvious mistake. The album, released on the Unseen Worlds label, was recorded by the New York percussion ensemble Talujon and is based on a composition from 2004, which itself is only one piece in a series of compositions that have been running for decades and are all characterised by a steady pulse. For almost 54 minutes—the score comprises a stunning 108 pages—the six percussionists of Talujon let this pulse run through different dynamics at different tempos, constantly adding new accents and twists to the seemingly repetitive structures of the piece. However, this does not turn into an inextricable Gordian knot that inspired the title of the piece. Rather, it is a slowly unwinding composition that is being carefully played out in all its facets and gives its audience plenty of time to engage with the tonal and rhythmic qualities of the instruments.