Monday, December 8, 2008

La Monte Young - Black Record

Motherfucker La Monte is the true father of what is known as Minimalism (a term he despises). He is one of the essential innovators of 20th century composition and his influence is all encompassing in the world of modern music. Sadly he is the least heard and the least well known, no small thanks to his own stubbornness. More info about him is easy to find so go look around if you're interested. Here's his "black album". PLAY FUCKING LOUD.

"Young and Zazeela recorded their first full length album 20 years earlier in Munich for Heiner Friedrich's Edition X label. It was Friedrich who later found the couple's Dream House in Harrison Street, New York. A limited edition of 2000, 98 of which were signed and dated by the artists, it came to be known as The Black Record, thanks to Zazeela's black on black cover and label artwork. Side one is a section of Map Of 49's Dream, performed by Young on sinewave drone and voice, with vocal accompaniment by Zazeela. Side two's extract from Study For The Bowed Disc features the duo bowing a gong given to them by sculptor Robert Morris. He had made it for his dance piece, War, and asked Young to play it for the performance. Afterwards Morris presented the gong to Young, and he started to experiment on it with double bass bows. If you follow Young's recommendation to turn it up and play it slow, the resulting low, thrilling drone is at once spiritual and slightly threatening, as though dark forces are being summoned to the surface. Long before Keiji Haino adopted black to shroud himself and his work, Marian Zazeela was embedding her calligraphic lettering and designs in purple and black. The point is to focus on her artwork while concentrating on the vocal/sinewave drones of Young's dream music."-E. Pouncey

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