The musical structure of David Haines' Blither may be traceable to an adolescence steeped in the experiments of contemporary composition - Reich, Stockhausen, Varése, Nancarrow - and by default an inclination to amplified sound through rock music.
Track two fades into a methodical piano jangling which increases in density layer by layer until you are straining to aurally reconcile the highest trill and deepest throb. The speed, range and configuration are repeatedly outside the scope of what could physically be played by one person.
The unswerving movement between two piano chords which form the underlay of track one milks the possibilities of repetition. It establishes stasis and portent at once - one can feel on the one hand that movement has been obliterated, that there is no longer such a thing as 'passage' in this piece, and on the other hand, that it may be building up to a crescendo so gradually as to arrive there unnoticed.
Blither is also redolent with the inflections of the piano performance. The charged and mythologised space between pianist and piano, which originates in the performance, fills ones imagination when listening to these constructions. One can hear the expression in the act of playing that one listens for in a performance. In track seven for example the notes are banged out with an insistence whose composite effect creates a broadband swell of overtones.
Rather than recreating at the level of decorative detail, Blither presents the emotional possibilities and historical associations of piano performance at a Meta level. This is how the suppressed rumblings of a completely distinct piano concerto seem to occupy the bass of track one for a time. Blither schematizes and distills musical conceits and motifs from their conventional forms. Perhaps this is how describing track seven as "a little piece of lace which is sucked into a hole" can be apt.
- Anna Sanderson, 1999
out of print