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MUSIC REVIEWS

Inventive Sounds by Vinko Globokar

February 26, 1996|TIMOTHY MANGAN

Vinko Globokar is a trombonist, sort of. At least that's the instrument usually in the way when he makes sounds start to happen. But there's no confusing him with Tommy Dorsey.

A composer of what might be called the extreme avant-garde and a performer of remarkable charisma, the 61-year-old French Slovenian brought his wares to LACE in Hollywood Saturday night for a stimulating, amazing and giddy show.

Mixing a great deal of humor and theater into his compositions, Globokar consistently manages to avoid pretentiousness while joyously seeking far-out, far-flung sounds. In "Prestop II," which opened the event, he began in a back room alternating mystifying spoken dialogue with trombone crackles. Walking into the performance space, he hovered on muted multiphonics (produced by singing into and playing the instrument simultaneously); then, taking up drum, cymbals, pistol and whistle, he threatened loud noise with each, only to freeze up in a vocal squeal before impact.

His "RES/AS/EX/INSPIRER" makes clamorous, urgent business out of inhaling and exhaling, sounds produced continuously in both directions, vocally and through the instrument. Among other tricks in "Echanges," Globokar substitutes single- and double-reed mouthpieces on the trombone to fashion a kind of musical science fiction.

"Corporel" found the composer shirtless and using his own body to make music, scratching, clicking teeth, hissing, tapping sternum with compelling verve. The coup de gra^ce, though, was "Cri des Alps," for alphorn, which became a receptacle for cavernous sostenuto, mumbling comedy and cigar smoke. You had to be there.

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