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    Charles Amirkhanian – Walking Tune

    July 9th, 2008

    Charles Amirkhanian - Walking Tune

    Charles Amirkhanian is a composer, sound poet, percussionist and radio producer who “incorporates sampled acoustic environmental sounds and traditional musical pitched sounds to develop dreamscapes which act as disjunct narratives. His work introduces a world of memory triggers which tend to induce a trancelike listening state.” Walking Tune is a collection of works dating from the early ’80s to the early ’90s—many using the Synclavier digital synthesizer. “Chu Lu Lu” is a 49-second collage of chaotic percussion sounds composed for a commercial for The American Center in Paris. The piece is supposed to exemplify the cultural connection between France and the United States and contains samples from ethnic music of former French colonies and Cajun and Native American music. “Bajanoom”’s dark, ambient echoes feature gong sounds sampled from the home of Lou Harrison combined with a musical saw, coffee grinder, guitar and strings. “Vers Les Anges” is dedicated to Nicolas Slonimsky and employs musical references to the composer’s life, like a German music box, komungo, cuckoo clock and cat sounds.

    “Gold And Spirit” was composed for a radio broadcast as part of the 1984 Olympics Arts Festival in Los Angeles. It piles up sports(!) sounds from cuero, racquetball, lawn bowling, indoor soccer, baseball, handball, basketball, etc. into a really fresh and fascinating collage, complete with strange art-reference cheers like, “Ray Man Ray! Go Van Gogh! Marcel! Duh Champ!” The title track is a really beautiful 28-minute environment full of instrumental (“unabashedly pretty” violin and heavily processed voices) and concrète sounds (boots vividly stomping through crunchy gravel, quacking flocks of geese, a swarm of hummingbirds, various tweaked female voices, piano, etc.) All in all, Walking Tune is an outstanding collection of sound collage works–highly recommended for the enthusiast or newcomer alike–and a very fun listen.

    Label: Starkland Catalog Number: ST-206 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 5 Total Time: 48:17 Country: United States Released: 1998 Related Artists: Tod Dockstader More: Electro CD, Forced Exposure, Other Minds, Wikipedia