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    Beth Anderson – Peachy Keen-O

    Beth Anderson - Peachy Keen-O

    Educated at the University of Kentucky, University of California at Davis, Mills College and New York University, Beth Anderson is a composer of neo-romantic music, text sound works and musical theater events. Peachy Keen-O is a 2003 CD collection of her early, non-academic, fence post-John Cage text sound pieces that span from 1973-79. Kicking off the album is “Torero Piece,” in which Beth’s mom delivers a touching essay about her troubled yet loving relationship with her daughter while Beth spits out a string of vowel and consonant sounds over the top. This track is simultaneously sentimental and strange. “Tower of Power” features a bunch of nice, dissonant organ blasts that result from the players’ arms smashing down all of the keys. As if that weren’t enough, it was recorded four times, then played back with a live performer doing the same thing over a bed of electronics, to very dense effect.

    A meditation on a disintegrating relationship, the title track creates a sparse, shambling, spooky ambience featuring an electric guitar, vibraphone, large membranophone and metallophone tinkling and clattering away in the background, as Beth occasionally recites desperate, lovelorn words like “supplication” and “When ya gonna leave me, Henry?” Her mom referred to it as “haunted house music,” which is a perfect description. The piece also includes a visual element with improv dancers and peach light. Tracks four through seven are short, lively works composed of urgently shouted text with drums played by Wharton Tiers. Fifteen staggered layers of overdubbed piano melodies build up “Joan” into a lovely, discombobulating mess of Conlon Nancarrow-esque confusion. “Ode” combines warbling electronics in the left channel with a wind-smacked field recording of a tobacco warehouse auctioneer from her native Kentucky in the right. At the close of the piece, as the man asks Beth why she was recording him, she responds in between cute giggles as the sound fades away. Silly yet serious, lowbrow yet highbrow–any way you slice it, Peachy Keen-O is a fun, fantastic listen, and one of the very best and most charming CDs ever released by Pogus.

    Label: Pogus Catalog Number: P21030-2 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 9 Total Time: 64:40 Country: United States Released: 2003 More: Amazon, MySpace, New York Women Composers, Official, Pogus, YouTube

    Text ©2013 Arcane Candy

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