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The Village Voice

Ytterbium 2

YTTRBIUM  Table of the Elements

LP orange vinyl, 2004
LaDonna Smith

“Chemistry Class”
Exploring the sounds of science experiments, on slabs suitable for turntables or framing.

Andy Beta, The Village Voice, August 02, 2004

Birmingham’s LaDonna Smith based her improvisations of violin and viola on a web-found blurb of her assigned element, ytterbium. Going at the malleable and ductile metal like a gypsy in a lab coat, she pressurizes the sawed Bartók lines until they squeal like Stockhausen, her severe processing of the strings proving the piece’s resilience “when subjected to very high stress,” and it sprays vicious sparks throughout.

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