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Various Artists: Not Necessarily "English Music" (Released in 2001, Rating 5)
- a collection of experimental music from Great Britain 1960-1977 Disc-1 1.Live at the Royal College of Art (AMM)
2.Wind Flutes Urban (Max Eastley)
4.Wedged into Release (Frank Perry)
5.Piece for Cello and Accordion (Michael Parsons & Haward Skempton)
6.Four Aspects (Daphne Oram)
7.The Judith Poem (abAna)
8.Music for Three Springs (Hugh Davies)
9.Piano Musics i & ii (Robert Worby)
10.Plum (Lol Coxhill & Steve Miller)
11.Search and Reflect (Spontaneous Music Orchestra)
12.Part 3 (The People Band)
13.As It Were (Evan Parker & Paul Lytton)
1.Solo (John Stevens)
2.Toy Piano (Steve Beresford)
3.Voice (Steve Beresforrd)
4.Battle March (Cornelius Cardew & Jane Manning)
5.Dust for One-Staring Banjo and Water Cistern (Ron Geesin)
6.Group Composition VI (Gentle Fire)
7.Instant Composition no.1 (Rain in the Face)
8.Nona Meyeah Teay (Ranulph Glanville)
9.Improvisation 5 (Derek Bailey)
10.Miserere (The Campiello Band)
11.Pharoah's March (Mike Cooper)
12.Geese (A Touch of the Sun)
13.Pilgrimage from Scattered Points on the Surface of the Body to the Brain, the Inner Ear, the Heart and the Stomach (The Scratch Orchestra)
14.Blowin' in the Wind (Frank Perry, Mongezi Feza & Chris McGregor) Curated by David Toop
Listening could be more active behavior than playing music. Listening to the sound of music as well as the sound of the world. John Cage might be the person who can hear the sound of the world. And maybe, David Toop.
David Toop is a good listener of the world, a good sound-creator . And he is a good listener of the music. This compilation is full of listening joy. They are experimental in various styles, but sometimes they are like sound of the nature. If you don't like experimental/avant-garde music, feeling they are noisy, listen to this!
"Blue" Gene Tyranny: Out Of The Blue (Released in 1977, Rating 5)
A 1.Next Time Might Be Your Time 2.David Kopay (Portrait) 3. Leading A Double Life B 1.Out Of The Blue/A Letter From Home Produced by Robert Sheff
"Blue" Gene Tyranny is a piano & electric keyboard player, might be categorized in contemporary music. But his music is very beautiful and lovely. Yes, his records are released by "Lovely Music", and his music is best fit for the company's name.
I love "Next Time Might Be Your Time" for years. This can be heard as an usual rock music. But unusually beautiful.
Pop album! I really want this to be released in CD. (My record became noisy.)
"Blue" Gene Tyranny: Just For The Record (Released in 1979, Rating 3+)
A 1.Sonata (Robert Ashley) B 1.Timing (Phil Harmonic) 2.Great Master Of Melody (Paul DeMarinis) 3. Rendezvous (John Bischoff) Produced by "Blue" Gene Tyranny
This record sounds more like usual contemporary music. "Blue" Gene Tyranny plays the works of other Lovely Music Artists.
"Blue" Gene Tyranny: The Intermediary (Released in 1982, Rating 4)
A 1.The Intermediary B 1.The Intermediary Produced by Peter Gordon
This record sounds like jazz improvisation piano. Sometimes sounds like Keith Jarret.
But it is definitely different. "Blue" Gene Tyranny's piano is much cool, solid, and beautiful. The piano improvisation is accompanied with computer noise.
"Blue" Gene Tyranny: Free Delivery (Released in 1990, Rating 5)
1. Five Takes On the Nocturne With and Without Memory
2. The Country Boy Country Dog Intro (excerpt)
3. The Intermediary Following Traces Of The Song
4. The Intermediary with A Rendition Of Stardust (excerpt)
5. Sunrise or Sunset in Texas (from Philip Makanna's film, "The Crack of Dawn").
This gathers Tyranny's piano & keyboard works 1983-1989. This is absolutely beautiful.
I am using the same word "beautiful" again and again. But I don't know how to describe his music in English, maybe not in Japanese too.
"Blue" Gene Tyranny: Country Boy Country Dog (Released in 1994, Rating 4)
1. A Dream Without Images
2. The CBCD Intro
3. Country Boy Country Dog
4. X Marks The Spot (Daydream)
5. The CBCD Variations
Produced by Thomas Buckner
This is also the keyboard music. And this time there is an environmental sound. The sub-title is "how to discover music in the sounds of your daily life".Good record.
So, I am waiting for his new record. Next time, the record like "Out of the Blue", please.
"Blue" Gene Tyranny: Take Your Time (Released in 2003, Rating 4)
1. Song No. 1 "Reset," from The Driver's Son, take one
2. Remember to Say This
3. The Drifter, free reading
4. A Letter from Home, the harmonic branching
5. Wish I Had Said That (L'Esprit de l'escalier)
6. Song No. 1, from The Driver's Song, take two
7. Meditation: Nothing's Changed, Everything's Changed
8. Study for Song No. 34, "Empathy," from The Driver's Son
Produced by Tom Hamilton
"Blue" Gene Tyranny's first record in ten years. This gathers Tyranny's recent piano & keyboard works during1992-2002, but some tracks have older origins. A Letter from Home is originally composed in 1976, and released in Out of the Blue (1977). It used to rather sound pop with spoken voices and chorus in the original version, but now it is played introspectively by solo piano. Meditation: Nothing's Changed, Everything's Changed is originally written in 1961. As the title, Take Your Time, Tyranny may be the person who works slowly and reflectively.
This slow-working-ness may be against the first impression of his works that sound improvisational. But when hearing carefully and repeatedly, we can find that Tyranny's works are carefully composed or designed. This is why we can hear his music repeatedly. (And I can say that the lack of carefulness is the reason why I can't hear Keith Jarret's solo piano works repeatedly.)
This is also a beautiful album, as the other Tyranny's albums are. Though it is mainly played by solo piano, sometimes pianos are treated electronically andr edited by computer. I find the most exciting moments in these mixtures of acoustic and electronic sound.
Lois Svard: With And Without Memory (Released in 1994, Rating 3+)
1. With and Without Memory ("Blue" Gene Tyranny)
2-10. Imaginary Dances (William Duckworth)
11. Van Cao's Meditation (Robert Ashley)
Lois Svard is a classically trained pianist. And she picks up the works of American contemporary music like "Blue" Gene Tyranny and Robert Ashley. This is the exact description of this album.
When I started hearing this version of With and Without Memory, I thought it was similar to the original interpretation of the composer. But my impression began to change as I kept listening. It sounds more classical, sounds like Debussy's piano works! It is interesting to hear the classical interpretation of Tyranny's music, and it is also interesting to find that there is a classical and impressionist nature in Tyranny's music. But I love the original interpretation by the composer more because it also has a sense of freedom.
The recording of this album is superb. Piano sounds really good.
Daniel Lentz: Missa Umbrarum (Released in 1985, Rating 5)
4.Lascaux Produced by Daniel Lentz
Beauty is not the crime to be blamed. Stories belong to the human nature. They might be the feature of the post-minimalism composers. While "contemporary music" sometimes is complex and difficult to understand, the post-minimalists works are lovely and beautiful.
However, so called minimal music is not minimal in a correct meaning of the word. The early works of Steve Reich might be minimal, but his works after mid-70's are not minimal anymore, music with gradual changes. Also, the introduction of the story was common in the 80's. For example, Philip Glass started writing "melodies" and composing many works for films. So, Minimalists themselves were post-minimalists.
Daniel Lentz might be the boldest composer who is not afraid of being beautiful. I love most of his works. He should be loved by more people.
"Missa Umbrarum" is musically not typical Lentz style. Music features the chorus and wine glasses! Lentz explains:
"Missa Umbrarum" was composed in 1973 and first performed at the Old Mission of Santa Barbara, California, in May 1974. The performance notes instruct the conductor to begin by pouring red wine into the glasses the chorus will play as they sing.
The text is drawn from the Ordinary of the Mass, 'Ordinarium Massae', the most solemn service of the Roman Catholic church which commemorates and mystically invokes the Last Supper. The Mass is composed of the sections 'Kyrie', 'Gloria', 'Credo', 'Sanctus' and 'Agnus Dei'.
It is scored for a chorus of eight voices, paired in Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass. The instruments are wine glasses of various shapes and sizes - four large Bordeaux glasses, four large Burgundy goblets and one very large Burgundy goblet.
"Missa Umbrarum" (Mass of Shadows). This refers to a compositional technique in which the text of the Mass is rendered through a 'sonic shadow' process. The chorus performs on the wine glasses by variously rubbing the rims with moistened fingers; striking the bowls, stems and bases with mallets and knuckles; and tipping the struck glasses to bend notes. Pitch changes per individual glasses are accomplished by sipping the wine.
This is so unique music. The sound of wine glasses is very charming.
Daniel Lentz: Apologetica (Released in 1998, Rating 5)
2.The Passing of the Plumeria
4.Instrumental Interlude #1
7.Instrumental Interlude #2
9.The Sea Shall Burn
10.Instrumental Interlude #3
12.Instrumental Interlude #4
This is the typical Lentz music. And this may be the best of Lentz. Simply beautiful. Lentz explains:
In the library of a small Catholic college in Pennsylvania I found the complete Chilam Balam, the sacred books of the Maya Indians of Yucatan. The prophet Balam in his 15th century writings foretold of strangers from the east who would bring a new religion to the Maya. It was from these books that most of Apologetica's text was gleaned.The choral-string piece Totoka (track 3) and the introduction to the song Lovely Bird (track 5) use texts created from mixing Hopi and Navajo words and phrases. Apologetica, the final work in this set of pieces uses a text drawn from The Tears of the Indians, a 1542 book by Fray Bartoleme de las Casas, the Spanish Bishop who was known as the Protector of the Indians.
Music features vocals and midi-keyboards. This might be close to the music of Philip Glass. But it is more natural music. You might call this "new age" music. So-called new age music is something I don't like. But this might be true new age music, with its new mixture of modernity, nature and humanity.
Lentz lives in the Sonoran Desert north of Phoenix, Arizona. I am not sure where it is really. When I heard Captain Beefheart lives in the desert, I imagine somewhere in a very harsh environment. I guess the desert Lentz lives in should be with beautiful sunrise and sunset, and many American wild lives. And there should be swimming pools in houses.
John Cage: Music For Keyboard 1935-1948 Jeanne Kirstein, Prepared Piano/Piano/Toy Piano (Released in 1969, Rating 4+)
CD1 1. Two Pieces 1935 2. Metamorphosis 3.Bacchanale 4.The perilous Night CD2 1.Tossed As It Is Untroubled 2.A Valentine Out Of Season 3. Root of an Unfocus 4.Two Pieces 1946 5. Prelude for Meditation 6. Music for Marcel Duchamp 7. Suite for Toy Piano 8. Dream Produced by David Behrman
John Cage was born in 1912 and dead in 1992. 2002 is the 90th anniversary and 10th anniversary of John Cage.
So, Sony Music Entertainment recently re-issued three John Cage related albums in Japan. It is amazing that CBS recorded such avant-garde works of John Cage in the1960s.
There are many records of John Cage's Prepared Piano works available today. And I might love some other CDs more than this CD. It is maybe because the piano of this record sounds very classical. Some kind of CBS classical piano sound recording! I think I am in favor of more delicate and modern piano sound of Margaret Leng Tan or Joshua Pierce.
However, this CD has its own value. According to the notes, John Cage really loved this recording, and thought this was very close to the sound he imagined when he wrote the music. As you know, prepared piano's sound is very changeable according to what kind of objects and materials put into the piano. For many old time John Cage listeners and John Cage himself, this record should be the original. Though I don't think the notion of original means a thing.
No, I am not saying this is not good record. It is very good interpretation of Cage, but I was not surprised to hear this music after having heard many other Cage's piano works.
Various Artists: New Electronic Music From Leaders Of The Avant-Garde (Released in 1967, Rating 4)
John Cage 1.Variations 2 Milton Babbitt 2. Ensembles for Synthesizer Henri Pousseur 3.Trois visages de Liege: L'air et L'eau 4.Trois visages de Liege:Voix de la Ville 5.Trois visages de Liege: Forges Produced by David Berhman
This is the second one of three Cage anniversary records.
Variations 2 in this record really surprised me! I have another version of that music, realisation for violin and glass harmonica. It is rather peaceful and subtle music. But this realisation made by David Tudor was sound storm of electric and metallic noise. It is rather violent sound. It is like an industrial noise music of Throbbing Gristle! But, unlike the usual noise music, this does not sound sadistic or painful. There is a humor and laughter in the noise. You should hear this. The cover art is also very cool. If there were only Cage's music in this record, my rating would have been higher.
Other music in this record is not so interesting for me. Maybe it is because they still have some fragments of melody. It is like a future electronic music in the old time science fiction movies. In 1960s the future looks bright and future looks futuristic! In 1970 there was an international exposition in Japan. The avant-garde musicians like Karlheinz Stockhausen were invited to the exposition to play electronic music! Ah! The electronic music sounds futuristic at that time... So, CBS released this record.
Max Neuhaus: Electronics And Percussion (Released in 1968, Rating 4+)
Earle Brown 1. Four Systems - for Four amplified Cymbals Morton Feldman 2. The King Of Denmark Sylvano Bussotti 3. Coeur pour Batteur-Positively Yes Karlheinz Stockhausen 4. No.9 Zyklus for One Percussionist John Cage 5. Fontana Mix -Feed Produced by David Berhman
This is the third one of three Cage anniversary records.
Max Neuhaus is really amazing. This electronic music does not sound like an old time futuristic music. The sound is very vivid and lively. Sometimes it sounds very radical and noisy, sometimes it sounds delicate and subtle.
The cover art looks somehow funny. Max Neuhaus is half naked looks like a caveman. The caveman meets electronics and percussion! This is the image of the cover art. But actually the sound is much more subtle and sophisticated.
Steve Reich: Three Tales (Released in 2003, Rating 3)
1. Hindenburg 2. Bikini 3. Dolly Produced by Judith Sherman
The "new" album of Steve Reich since Proverb/Nagoya Marimbas/City Life (1996). Between two works, there was Triple Quartet (2001) , which includes new work as well as re-interpretation of old works, and there were many re-interpretations of his works by many artists. Steve Reich is now the greatest composer of America today!
So, this is the purely new work of Steve Reich, composed in 1998-2002. It took four years for Reich to complete this work. So, is this a complicated work which requires a lot of time? Maybe, no. It took a lot of time because this is a multi-media work, a collaboration with the video artist Beryl Korot, who is Reich's wife. So, this CD contains DVD video of Three Tales. And price is reasonable for CD+DVD set; I bought this at about $25.
I started to listen to CD at first without seeing video. Hindenburg starts with very impressive metal percussion beat. This is the most exciting moment of CD. I think Hindenburg is enjoyable as pure music, but Bikini and Dolly require visual images. I have to say that they are weak as music.
Musically, this work is a descendant of Different Trains (1989) and The Cave (1995), which use the collages of interview tapes. While there was plurality of meaning in two other works with cutting interview voice shortly, there seems to be a strong meaning and message in Three Tales (2003). Of course, there was a thought and message in Different Trains (1989) and The Cave (1995), but there was many possibilities to interpret.
So, what is the message of Three Tales. It is about the 20th century. In the 20th century, technology played the greatest role. Three stories are about Zeppelin, Atomic Bomb, and Bio-technology. It questions these technologies, which brought big question to the human existence. The theme quickly reminds me of Koyaanisqatsi (1982) of Philip Glass. Reich and Glass started as minimalist composers, but they gradually became the story-tellers. Sometimes they are successful as story-tellers, but sometimes they are not.
When seeing the DVD of Three Tales, messages of the work became clearer. It is an interesting video work. (Sometimes it reminds me of bonus multimedia work in the CD Kew. Rohne (1976) of John Greaves and Peter Blegvad.) While Koyaanisqatsi (1982) showed the images of atomic bobm explosion over and over again, Bikini in Three Tales mainly shows the scene before the expoltion. And it implies it at the end. It can be better approach to the matter. There are more interesting points in the video, but, as a Reich listener, the impression of music get weaker. Almost background music.
This is still a good album, but this is surely not the first CD that you should hear if you've never heard Reich before. Here are the CDs of Reich that you should begin with.
Music for 18 Musicians (1978) Tehillim (1982) Drumming (1987) Different Trains (1989) Four Organs/ Phase Patterns (1970)
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