Friday, February 6, 2009

RIP Max Neuhaus

Nathan Hubbard - Blue Orchid (lala) - This slab of post-everything digitized and diced drum-and-voice convulsion came about from looking for music from dearly departed experimental percussionist and sound artist Max Neuhaus (Alex Ross' obit; Neuhaus' website). I use the word experimental in a less cavalier manner than I used to, for now I know that most art thus dubbed is actually crafted with a precise final product in mind. An album by Neuhaus I had back in the day, one where he applied John Cage's playful systems of vibration in the service of rattling a drumkit across the room, made me rethink the term experimental. Neuhaus was running the systems in that album with a dearth of romantic zeal, which at first I found off-putting - I was even more of a cheerleader for this distant corner of art than I am now - but in reflection, I see he was right. These are the things we are doing and here is what they are. I suspect, from listening to Blue Orchid, Hubbard had a copy of that same record, perhaps sitting next to his copy of the Minutemen Double Nickles on the Dime.

Here is "Circle Within a Circle", his tribute to Neuhaus.

And here is video of Neuhaus' sound installation in Times Square

Image of Max Neuhaus from here

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