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Marshall Ascending

Nice piece by Anne Midgette in today’s Times about Ingram Marshall whose work I happen to like a lot.  Put him down for your new “Underrated” column, Trevor.


Comment from Frank Hecker
Time: April 14, 2007, 12:39 am

eMusic happens to have five Ingram Marshall albums available, at prices that practically compel me to download at least one of them: Savage Altars, Evensongs, Dark Waters, Alcatraz, and Fog Tropes. Of these, can anyone recommend the best introduction to Marshall’s work?

Comment from david toub
Time: April 14, 2007, 7:18 am

Personally, the best introduction to IM’s works is The Fragility Cycles, which I only know from an old LP and wish would be reissued on CD. Both Fog Tropes and A Gradual Requiem are great introductions to his music. Fog Tropes is short, while AGR is more extended and a bit more typical of his ineffable music. Enjoy!

Comment from Tom Izzo
Time: April 14, 2007, 9:45 am

Evensongs has a bunch of good music on it in my opinion. I also always enjoy hearing Fog Tropes which in some respects is the piece he’s best known for, (at the present time anyway).

David, I remember hearing Fragility Cycles and being haunted by that piece as well. Somewhere down the line it must have been on CD because I definitely didn’t hear it on LP–I’ll have to check into that some more and get back to you.

That said, Ingram’s music does have a way of sticking with you long after you hear it; at least that’s the effect his music has had on me.

Comment from Kyle Gann
Time: April 14, 2007, 1:12 pm

To reinforce what’s been said, Evensongs is marginally my favorite Ingram CD, though Fog Tropes was the piece that made him famous back in the ’70s. His quality is consistently high, so nothing should be a disappointment. I published an intervew with Ingram in the most recent Symphony magazine in advance of this very event.

Comment from Frank Hecker
Time: April 14, 2007, 6:36 pm

Thanks to all for the recommendations!

Comment from Graham Rieper
Time: April 15, 2007, 1:11 pm

Heard the new piece last night. Not an auspicious ascent.

Comment from Steve Gorbos
Time: April 16, 2007, 10:10 am

I would check out “Dark Waters”. You can download the Album or the track from ITunes.

For those of you interested in the “Fragility Cycles”, it is not available on CD, just LP. The LP was distributed almost exclusively by Marshall, so you could get a copy through him, or probably check it out from most university libraries with a decent new/experimental LP collection. Several tape pieces that also serve as components of “Fragility Cycles” are available as “Ikon and other early works”, a New World Records release from a few years back.

Comment from Tom Izzo
Time: April 16, 2007, 11:35 am

>Several tape pieces that also serve as components of “Fragility Cycles” >are available as “Ikon and other early works”

That must be what I’m thinking of; thanks for the clarification.

Comment from Frank Hecker
Time: May 3, 2007, 1:02 am

As I mentioned originally, eMusic has several Ingram Marshall albums available for download. Marshall is now the subject of this month’s Justin Davidson column for eMusic Magazine:

Comment from zeno
Time: May 3, 2007, 11:44 am

I would think that Ingram’s ‘Kingdom Come’ would also serve as one possible introduction to fine his body of work. I would be surprised if the work wasn’t available on music download services. I can’t believe that its wide-spread popularity four or five summers back was just another bubble … (The work was composed as a requiem for Ingram’s brother-in-law, a photo-journalist killed by a land-mine in the 1990s –in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I believe. It incorporates Ingram’s earlier recordings of folk singing and chant from the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. I wish that the recorded component didn’t discourage more orchestras — such as the NSO, NYPhil, or SFS? — from performing it.)


I also thought that “Fragility Cycles” was self-published/distributed in the days around the time 1750 Arch Street or New Albion were just beginning. I recall that the work started life as a tape music/ Asian-Indonesian instrument installation/ waterway installation at the small garden between the San Francisco Opera House and the old SFMOMA (now Herbst Hall and SF Performing Arts Library and Museum). It was part of the New Music West Festival, in October 1976 — under curatorship of Robert Hughes, Janice Giteck, and … and … Ramon Sender? That Festival predated the subsequent New Music America series.