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    Salvatore Martirano – O, O, O, O, That Shakespeherian Rag

    Salvatore Martirano - O, O, O, O, That Shakespeherian Rag

    Salvatore Martirano (1927-1995) was a composer of instrumental and computer music. Not only that, he was an actual Professor of Music at the University of Illinois for over three decades! (In fact, if you stacked up all of the papers that he graded over the years, they would stretch all the way from Earth to the Van Allen radiation belt.) In case you recently got hit on the head with a five pound block of cheese and now have amnesia, UI was a hotbed of electronic and computer music back in the 1950s and ’60s, with the likes of Lejaren Hiller, James Tenney, Kenneth Gaburo, Herbert Brun and others brewing up groundbreaking works regularly. This here O, O, O, O, That Shakespeherian Rag compact disc collects instrumental works that span all the way from 1959 to 1979–from the era of real malt shops to fake ones on Happy Days. Licking, I mean kicking off the program, “Cocktail Music” fills the room with the kind of dissonant solo piano plonk that might make Conlon Nancarrow grin. “Octet” ruffles everyone else’s feathers with a round of super-quirky chamber music via bass clarinet, flute, contra-alto clarinet, celeste, violin, cello and bass marimba.

    “Chansons Innocente” pairs a few crumbs of e.e. cummings text with a lil’ lady’s spry, operatic singing and more stark piano melodies that occasionally get punched with brutal stabs. “Ballad” seamlessly tosses some fiery, melodic singing into a romantic ballad salad sprinkled with odd instrumental outbursts for a most unusual and appealing meal. This food is fresh! A solo pianist who is “Stuck on Stella” proceeds all the way from dreamy trills to thorny briars and back again without ever glancing in the rear view mirror. The title piece ends the whole deal as a cantankerous band of singers and instrumentalists kicks up a huge dissonant ruckus–especially right at the end–that would make Edgard Varese proud. Although it’s notated avant-garde classical, much of this music should also appeal to fans of improv.

    Label: New World Records Catalog Number: 80535-2 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 11 Total Time: 67:11 Country: United States Released: 1998 More: All Music, Amazon, Electronic Music Studio, Kill Ugly Radio, Symbolic Sound

    Text ©2010 Arcane Candy

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