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    Ingram Marshall – Ikon and Other Early Works

    Ikon and Other Early Works is a much welcome CD of voice-based electronic works spanning the years 1972-1976 from this composer who got his start with Vladimir Ussachevsky at Columbia in the ’50s and went on to be influenced by New York minimalists in the ’60s. The eight-and-a-half minutes of “Cortez” offer vast, shimmering fabrics composed entirely of many layers of the treated voice of Snee McCaig reciting his chilling poem of the same name: “Whenever the world is supposed to end, it does / within a month and a day of the end the Aztecs were expecting, came Cortez / white flowers blossoming in each cold spring wind, bends their heads.” An eerie, otherwordly effect of transcendent forehead hover is constantly maintained, complimenting the words perfectly.

    “Weather Report” is made of mesmerizing, effected tape loops from a Danish radio announcer and is very remeniscent of Steve Reich’s “It’s Gonna Rain.” “The Emperor’s Birthday” features straight-up interview sections which later merge into more tape loop mania. “Cries Upon the Mountains” includes Norwegian sheepherders, cowbells, and child’s voice “opening with a sixth and ending transformed electronically into a wraith that has always haunted me. She too was recorded off Norwegian radio, while the other sounds include the rustle of snow as Marshall trudged through on skis with a microphone hung from his neck.”–Edward Strickland “SUNG” refers to the Sung Dynasty and “is scored initially as a solo / duo recitative by painter Jan Hafstrom and dancer Margareta Asberg, after which the tape processes multiply their voices into a ghostly chorus as Marshall’s spectral bass appears with an English translation” of a most thoroughly zoned poem: “No flower without Earth / no Earth without space / no space without flower.”

    “Sibelius In His Radio Corner” provides a spellbinding space of ghostly, echoey, electonic ambience inspired by a photo of the the composer Sibelius relaxing in an armchair, listening to his own works on the radio. “In his old age, Sibelius enjoyed pulling in distant broadcasts of his music off the shortwave. I imagined that with all the static and signal drift, some of these listening experiences might have been proleptically like a modern day electronically-processed kurzwellen piece.”–Ingram Marshall The title, and final, track is another foray into recognizable voices gradually transformed into slowed, looped atmospherics. This CD is a fine collection, definitely to be liked by anyone into the tape works of Terry Riley or Steve Reich.

    Label: New World Records Catalog Number: 80577-2 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 7 Total Time: 66:25 Country: United States Released: 2000 More: Blog Spot, Discogs, Epitonic, Last.FM, New Albion, Nonesuch, Perfect Sound Forever, Official, Other Minds, Wikipedia

    Text ©2003 Arcane Candy

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