Charlemagne Palestine… not king or country

For my current work, I’m sorting through a pile of papers from the Syntonic Research, Inc. record label most famous for their Environments series of the 1970s. These albums are notable as the first publicly available noise masking recordings; they would go on to inspire plenty of copy cats, and helped fuel the nascent New Age […]

Manifest Minimalism

The the manifest destiny of American music is alive and well. While conductor Michael Tilson Thomas presents his American Mavericks programs dedicated to the unbridled creativity of composers from Ives to Monk, sound artist Dan Deacon engages his fans by crowdsourcing his own light show. Without generalizing the diversity right out of the avant-garde, I’m confident the ideas of expansiveness and innovation are embedded, […]

The Reich Stuff

Tehillim (1981) is a favorite Reich work of mine, so of course I couldn’t resist sharing this multimedia extravaganza.  Named after the Hebrew word for the Psalms, twenty-three performers groove through each twisting canon following the agogic accents of the Biblical text. Surprisingly or not, Tehillim sounds quite unlike traditional Jewish recitations of the Torah.  In the composer’s […]