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    Larry Polansky – Lonesome Road

    February 27th, 2010

    This CD is full to the brim with a continent-sized ball of piano music of maze-like complexity written in 1989 by experimental composer Larry Polansky. Very difficult to play but lovely to hear, the piece is often far more melodic and song-like than Larry’s experimental output—which typically veers toward the austere and conceptual. “Wait a minute (ptuey!)—hadduh spit out muh chewin’ ‘baccer. Heh-heh. Muh great granny Maw Kettle wuz jess mutterin’ tuh me sumthin’ about this here Puhlanskuh feller offerin’ up a set of variations on the harmonization of the folk song ‘Lonesome Road’ by thuh great ‘mericuhn wimmin’ composer Ruth Crawford (1901-1953). Now I might not know so much about that, so y’all will have tuh listen up here to wut muh good buddy and fellow music ‘pree-shee-ater Kyle Gann gots to say.”—Festus McRib “This [is a] great amalgam of Ivesian pianism, gamelan patterns, jazz-tinged harmonies and folk song. Its size and grandeur hark back to a pianistic outsider tradition of sui generis works, the cloud-hidden mountain peaks of the piano repertoire.”—Kyle Gann

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    Larry Polansky – Four Voice Canons

    October 18th, 2009

    Larry Polansky - Four Voice Canons

    Larry Polansky is a composer, performer, theorist and professor who has been working since the ’70s at places like Mills College and Dartmouth. He’s also a founder of Frog Peak Music (A Composer’s Collective). “All the pieces on this disc are mensuration canons of four or more voices. In these canons, each successively entering voice moves proportionally faster than the previous one, causing each canon’s density and rhythmic complexity to increase from beginning to end.” The works, which span nearly a quarter of a century, from 1978 to 2002, are sounded by a wide variety of instruments.

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    Larry Polansky – The Theory of Impossible Melody

    July 28th, 2008

    Larry Polansky - The Theory of Impossible Melody

    Larry Polansky is a composer, performer, theorist and professor who has been working since the ’70s at places like Mills College and Dartmouth. He’s also a founder of Frog Peak Music (A Composer’s Collective). The Theory of Impossible Melody is a 1989 collection of computer music pieces composed from 1975 to 1989. Highlights include “B’rey’sheet” (1985)—an amazing piece for nice female vocals and interactive computer. Sonic mayhem ensues as the computer-guided synth sounds and human vocals—initially out of whack with each other—both share the same melody by the time all is said and done. Some nice held synth notes will also trance you out along the way. “The soloist sings the melody unaltered. The computer reacts to the voice harmonically, rhythmically, melodically and timbrally, gradually constraining its variations until the voice and computer are in unison.”

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