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    Philip Corner – 40 Years and One

    Philip Corner - 40 Years and One

    Philip Corner (born 1933) is an experimental composer who has been totally going for it since the 1950s. He’s perhaps best known for his work in the realms of Fluxus, minimalism and chance operations–although he notates some pieces, too–as well as his associations with fellow composers John Cage and James Tenney. The 40 Years and One CD features 73 minutes of solo piano played by the composer himself. The pieces, which span from the late 1950s through the ’70s, were recorded in January 1998 and released by New York experimental music label XI Records in 2001.

    Out of a total of nine tracks, the first seven are short and wear on the listener like a really prickly bodysuit, filled with disjointed bits of melodies, sudden outbursts, inside scraping and atonal note clusters that effortlessly veer from quiet contemplation to eruptions of ugly dissonance on a dime. The last two tracks fill up the rest of the album in a slightly more pleasing manner. “Pulse” splays out a full 25 minutes of pounding dissonant rhythms that eventually turn all gentle, repetitive and pretty; while the 23-minute “perfect” returns to full-on improv mode with some lively inside playing–featuring scads of scraping, knocking, jingling, rubbing and ringing bells–on a naturally reverberant prepared piano. Typically, most people regard this kind of music as very difficult to listen to, but I’ve found that it’s really quite easy if you stop expecting and just listen closely.

    Label: XI Records Catalog Number: XI 125 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 9 Total Time: 72:43 Country: United States Released: 2001 More: Art Not Art, Composers 21, Discogs, Forced Exposure, Frog Peak, Last FM, Wikipedia

    Text ©2009 Arcane Candy

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