Thursday, May 17, 2007


Back in the post-Cage '60s, composers could get away with writing something like this and calling it "music":

Make sounds with stones, draw sounds out of stones, using a number of sizes and kinds (and colours); for the most part discretely; sometimes in rapid sequences. For the most part striking stones with stones, but also stones on other surfaces (inside the open head of a drum, for instance) or other than struck (bowed, for instances, or amplified). Do not break anything."

Christian Wolff did just that for his piece "Stones", and more power to him. Los Angeles avant oddball Tom Recchion performs his take on it:

Tom Recchion: "Stones"

There's no information on how this was recorded, but the eerie stereo effects remind me of the binaural recordings that caused such a stir here last year.

Recchion co-founded the Los Angeles Free Music Society, who made the concurrent CBGB scene in New York look as mainstream as "American Bandstand' in comparison. But I first knew him from a radio show he co-hosted on L.A.'s KPFK in the Eighties that played, as they used to say, "avant-garde and rear-garde" music - experimental/improv weirdness mixed with kitschy thrift-store exotica (what People Like Us would call "avant-retard"). I also once saw him do a turntable performance with Christian Marclay where he smashed a record and used a large shard of the broken vinyl to "scratch" another record spinning on the turntable.

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