Monday, May 11, 2009

going to the mountain lonely

Listening the Eric Salzman piece a couple more times over the weekend, I was reminded how much I like the intersection of spoken drama and difficult music. The above Anthony Braxton piece is a prime example: a troupe of actors mention a crazy scheme, "a time for a change" before Braxton's autumnal chamber sonata takes a tumble down the well. The text is a bit precious, and Braxton's crew sounds at times like playground equipment in need of hinge oil, but together they offer up a whole dissection of reality. Avant garde pianist "Blue" Gene Tyranny has this to say. (via AMG)
This musically and textually complex composition examines movement-strategies that occur in normal life in various spaces (a living room, an airport, a theater space, an open outdoor area "I hear an influence coming on from the CKA AREAS," dream spaces, etc.); the actors describe in subtle detail several "movement-execution strategies." Body areas are examined as analogs for the occurrence of sound, the imagery of a "body-examination logic." As one actor describes the purpose of the text "... all I need are allies who are willing to risk a moment to change fundamental established 'positions, ' really Arnold, it's time for a change." The music is exciting and contrapuntally dense, and at other times mysteriously sustained. Maps of geography (sounds moving about the real and imaginary and video "virtual" lands) and musical graph strategies are treated as analogs. A thoughtful and innovative "multimedia" work.
I have an early encounter with a Harry Partch record to blame for this peccadillo. Partch had so tight a vision of what he wanted that he had to invent the instruments on which his music was played, over which he would intone his hobo tales and existential recitations. It is lonely music, but the good kind of lonely. Going to the mountain lonely. His The Letter is a prime example of this, second only to his The Dreamer that Remains which was not readily available.

No comments:

Post a Comment