Sunday, July 05, 2009

HurdAudio Rotation: Jimmy Best on his back to the sucker punch of his childhood files

John Schneider: Just Guitars. 2003. Bridge Records: 9132.

John Schneider: guitars, vocals
Rebekah Raff: kithara
Gene Sterling: diamond marimba

Rhythmicon I (1988) by Carter Scholz
Scenes from Nek Chand (2002) by Lou Harrison
Tandy's Tango (1992) by Lou Harrison
Cinna (1957) by Lou Harrison
Palace Music (1971/88) by Lou Harrison
Plaint & Variations on 'Song of Palestine' by Lou Harrison
Serenado pour Gitaro (1952) by Lou Harrison
Letter from Hobo Pablo (1943) by Harry Partch
December 1942 (1942) by Harry Partch
Three Intrusions (1949) by Harry Partch
Harp of New Albion (1984/95) by Terry Riley
Lament (1981) by John Schneider

Microtonal works beautifully recorded by the virtuosic - and theoretically grounded - John Schneider. The guitar arrangement of Terry Riley's Harp of New Albion is a particular attraction for these ears so familiar with the piano version. The Lou Harrison pieces weave a melodic tapestry that highlights the harmonic virtues of just intonation and the Harry Partch pieces retain their hobo-esque restlessness. Attractive on so many fronts.

Lisle Ellis: Sucker Punch Requiem: An Homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat. 2008. Henceforth Records: 104.

Lisle Ellis: bass, electronics, sound design
Pamela Z: voice, electronics
Holly Hofmann: flutes
Oliver Lake: saxophones
George Lewis: trombone
Mike Wofford: piano
Susie Ibarra: drums, percussion

An utterly brilliant conceptual piece that mixes notated materials, electronic post-manipulations and improvisation to realize an expression of a fractured requiem to Jean-Michel Basquiat. The final sound owes much to Ellis' explorations as a painter as a mixed media offering that fills its hour-long canvas with brilliant colors and fresh sonic turns. The line between live realization of the written source material, free improvisation and aggressive electronic manipulation blurs along an exquisite frame of clear, artistic focus. Highly recommended.

Matthias Kaul: Fever. 2002. Nurnichtnur: LC 1020120.

Matthias Kaul: percussion

Listen, This is for You (2000)
Amandeau Antonio Kiowa (2000)
Bachmann (1991)
Fever (1999)
Listen, this is for You (II) (2001)

Solo works for percussion that mine the singular soundscape created by Matthias Kaul. The vibrations of a hurdy-gurdy, microphones rubbed against drum skins, Tibetan temple bells, glass harp and any combination of wires, styrofoam and children's toys become sculpting clay in the hands of this sonically obsessed performer. The amplification of small spaces becomes the focal point of this ear engaging journey. The compositions providing form and aesthetic purpose for the vast spaces within frictions, breath and stricken objects. As a whole, these five pieces are a generous offering. A voyage just beneath the skin of what is possible.

No comments: