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    Robert Paredes – Forgetting And Remembering

    November 17th, 2009

    Robert Paredes - Forgetting And Remembering

    “Robert Paredes (1948-2005) was a composer, multi-woodwind performer, writer and visual artist. He taught electronic music, composition and experimental performance at The University of Iowa, where he received both the MA and Ph.D degrees in composition, studying principally with Kenneth Gaburo.”

    Forgetting And Remembering is a really nice experimental classical / electronic effort featuring two half-hour pieces of prime evening soak—perfect for when you’re floating solo for the duration. The title piece (1986) contains seven tracks of solo clarinet–each one played on a different day without ever listening to the other tracks–and could easily zone a whole new kind of abandoned parking lot deep into the middle of your mind. Needless to say, it’s loose and playful, yet fully star-staring all at once.

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    Erik Belgum – Blodder

    November 16th, 2009

    Erik Belgum - Blodder

    Since the early 1980s, Erik Belgum has been working in the field of sound poetry, electro-acoustic music and live performance. Released on CD in 1999 by Innova, Blodder contains seven tracks of spoken text in the cut-up tradition of William Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Some of these pieces are solo rants, others feature numerous different voices layered over each other simultaneously–which, if you ignore the actual language, could be a nice launching pad for an excursion into pure sound–and yet others include static electronics simmering in the background. The subject matter features a botched convenience store robbery, a fatal car accident, a hospital patient’s TV commercial obsession, “the eviction of a divorcing couple from a gaseous and explosive environment” and general social dysfunction delivered in a chopped-up, mixed-up manner that is at once harsh and hilarious, not to mention desolately lysergic. This is definitely a good one for fans of Burroughs, Gysin, Robert Ashley and sound poetry in general.

    Label: Innova Catalog Number: 527 Format: 2-CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: Disc 1: 4, Disc 2: 3 Total Time: Disc 1: 57:59, Disc 2: 41:24 Country: United States Released: 1999 More: All Music, Discogs, Last FM, Paris Trans-Atlantic

    Text ©2009 Arcane Candy

    Matthew Burtner – Portals of Distortion

    November 15th, 2009

    Matthew Burtner - Portals of Distortion

    The childhood-experienced “sound of wind rushing over the tundra” and “the sound of storms over the ocean” have deeply influenced the six works of this atmospheric CD from Alaskan-born composer Matthew Burtner. The title track is a long, thick sleeping bag full of nine layered saxophone blasts and drones, which are fairly similar to James Tenney’s “Saxony,” that should keep everyone–including your too-tall younger brother–warm until tomorrow’s camping sunrise. It’s at once invigorating yet oddly soothing. The computer-generated tape work of “Fern” is a dark, brooding excursion into “ambient” granular synthesis that seems to glide by–and through–you with an almost aerodynamic ease. “Split Voices” sort of seems to be a combination of the first two efforts, while “Mists” is comprised of “eight polyphonic lines of filtered noise” from a computer noise controller fronted by incessant, clacking layers from a “stone trio.”

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    Harry Partch – Delusion of the Fury

    November 14th, 2009

    Harry Partch - Delusion of the Fury

    Harry Partch (1901-1974) merely succeeded in realizing the most perfectly constructed, personal musical universe of the 20th Century. Shunning twelve-tone equal temperament—which has dominated Western music for well over a hundred years—he formed his own 43 tone scale realized through an antiquated pure tuning system known as Just Intonation. Harry then built his own strange, sculptural instruments to realize his exotic scores. Over several decades, he meshed this otherworldly-sounding music with dance and drama into what he called “corporeal” presentations, in which these three elements are fully integrated into a powerful, transporting whole. None of them were omitted or relegated to the background, as in traditional stage plays or classical concerts.

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    David Behrman – My Dear Siegfried

    November 13th, 2009

    David Behrman - My Dear Siegfried

    David Behrman is perhaps best-known in music circles for talking Columbia Records into releasing a series of experimental electronic and avant-garde classical records on a subsidiary label called Odyssey back in the late 1960s. (When else could that have happened?) Called Music of Our Time, it has lured many a curious listener into some of that decade’s most adventurous sounds by the likes of John Cage, David Tudor, Morton Feldman, Richard Maxfield, Steve Reich and Pauline Oliveros. So, if you’re flipping through a crate and come across a copy, definitely throw it on your pile. In addition to curating, David took part in the legendary ONCE Festival in the early ’60s, and toured as a member of the Sonic Arts Union and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company over the next 10 years. He has spent subsequent decades as a music professor, as well as producing multi-media installations and concerts in which music software interacts with live performers.

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    Alan Licht – A New York Minute

    November 12th, 2009

    Alan Licht - A New York Minute

    Working since the 1980s as an author for such mags as Forced Exposure, Halana, The Wire and many more; and player in outfits like Run On, Love Child, The Pacific Ocean, Text of Light, plus collaborations with dozens of avant musicans; Alan Licht occupies a front and center spot in the realm of left field New York music. A New York Minute is a two-for-the-price-of-one double CD set of experimental minimal works released in 2003. It all kicks off with the John Cage-inspired title track, which consists of a lengthy series of cut-up weather reports that eventually give way to ambient field recordings from a crowded subway station. “Freaky Friday” could easily put the most hyperactive kid into a trance. It’s exactly the kind of 20-minute-long plume full of mellow, repetitive guitar picking that you just don’t want to end. “Muhammed Ali and the Crickets” layers field recordings of said insects with blasts of fast-paced punk rock and African music for strange sonic brew with an exceptionally odd taste. “Another Sky” closes disc one with a delicious seven-layer burrito of shrill, multi-tracked synth drones.

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    Michael J. Schumacher – Room Pieces

    November 7th, 2009

    Michael J. Schumacher - Room Pieces

    In the 1970s and ’80s, Michael J. Schumacher studied composition at places like the University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana and Juilliard in New York. After working for a spell in a rock and improv vein, he began a career in classical music, composing for solo piano, chamber ensemble, orchestra and voice. A stint with La Monte Young in the early ’90s pushed him out onto a minimal limb, where he began to build sound installations. Room Pieces offers up a couple of whole CDs full of two-channel audio evidence of those multi-channel environments. The first contains a CD-filling 75-minute track called “Room Piece XI” in which subtle, ringing, weedling electronic drones and the odd, quavering piano note are rudely interrupted by occasional outbursts of electronics and sampled acoustic instruments.

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    Gen Ken Montgomery – Pondfloorsample

    November 3rd, 2009

    Gen Ken Montgomery - Pondfloorsample

    Hmmm. Gen Ken Montgomery. Just who is this oddly-named fellow? And what the heck does “Gen” stand for? General? Did he serve his country in a war? Is he somehow related to Elizabeth Montgomery of Bewitched fame? Has he dated Barbie? The world may never know the answers to these burning questions! But, one fact that I can relay to you with confidence is that Gen Ken Montgomery is an un-schooled sound artist who has been working since the late 1970s with primitive homemade electronics, tape recordings of noisy real-world devices, and instruments he doesn’t know how to play–like synthesizers–to produce a certain number of multi-channel sound installations, cassettes, LPs, CDs and even some good ol’ mail art. I was going to say “countless numbers,” but I’m sure Ken himself could easily add them all up, if he so desired.

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    Philip Corner – 40 Years and One

    November 1st, 2009

    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.

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