A DVD of Cage's 49 Waltzes. Kevin James aims to up the ante!
Even in the midst of myriad celebrations of the John Cage centenary, composer Kevin James and his newly formed [kāj] (pronounced Cage) ensembleis organizing one of the more ambitious and unusual celebratory offerings.
100 Waltzes culls audio from field recordings at 147 New York City locations. It was inspired by Cage’s own 49 Waltzes for the 5 Boroughs, a score that stipulates incorporating familiar waltzes into an aleatoric composition. You can see video of James’s creative process at work below.
August 21, 22 and 23 at 7:30pm
DiMenna Center, Mary Flagler Cary Hall,
450 West 37th St., New York, NY.
Tickets ($20 general or $30w/reception ticket, $10 students or $20 w/reception ticket)
Hunter Gatherer Koppklys #010 (cassette run of 60)
Dynamic instrumental music replete with warm synths as a pervasive grounding, long spun drones, field recorded additions, notably cawing gulls, and finally, surging crescendos and Mellotron-like strings pushing the levels higher towards red. If the old saw about ambient music is that it is dull or, at the very least, useful only as background listening on a yoga mat, Daw Nusk proves it wrong. Luxuriating in sound need never be a static experience and, on Hunter Gatherer it is quite the contrary; a pleasing aural journey that is nevertheless filled with a number of surprises and shifts of demeanor along the way. A generous collection of six compositions: recommended.
Discogs describes Rune Martinsen’s Abhorrent Beauty as a “one man dark ambient/industrial/noise project from Norway.” It’s a good summary. Of the tracks below, “Snow Crystals,” tends towards the more ambient side of his output, while “Lighthouse” is a bit more experimental, bringing some lovely tolling timbres to fore.
Spectropol Records is a small outfit dedicated to short runs of adventurous music, including xenharmonic (microtonal) composers, electroacoustic experimenters, avant improv performers, ‘out’ instrument builders, and those specializing in field recordings.
Where can one reasonably locate Daniel Stearns? On Golden Town, his latest full length release, he readily fits most of the categories above. Combined with distressed soundscape recordings – bleak windswept places seem to be a frequent environment – are brittle whiffs of guitar drones, tendrils of electronics, edgings of psych-tinged noise, and deep rumbling bass. Stearns calls these “waking dreams,” but I’m not sure one would describe the visions unleashed alongside his potently dystopian pieces to be anything short of spooky nightmares. Still, while you may want to bring a flashlight along, “just in case,” Stearns’s Golden Town is a weirdly appealing, often engrossing, sonic experience.