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Artist: CHATHAM, RHYS
Title: Echo Solo
Format: LP
Label: Azoth Schallplatten
Country: USA
Price: $16.00
A vinyl-only release, Beautifully packaged with extensive notes by the composer, Limited edition of 800 copies. "By 1989, downtown legend Rhys Chatham had been fusing art music and punk rock for almost fourteen years and wanted to try his hand at something else. Accordingly, he set out to combine forms using a diverse vocabulary drawn exclusively from the classic avant-garde; the result is Echo Solo. In it, Chatham appropriates a number of musical styles -- serial technique, chance operations, and just intonation -- then through a process of amalgamation and superimposition, he transcends their original musical meaning while at the same time imploding it. Only the tiniest pair of critical scissors could isolate the individual elements from the final product; its a fascinating, paradoxical composition, one which the composer happily describes as "a rite of decimation. As Chatham himself writes: When one tunes a piano in just intonation, it is essentially in one key, the key of 1. La Monte Young tuned his piano in E-flat, owing to the fact that he was originally an alto saxophone player. I used a similar technique, but used C natural as my starting point, for the sake of simplicity. When we tune a piano in this way, however, we are usually very careful to select a strategy of striking a particular set of piano keys in order to stay in the right musical key. In Echo Solo, no such strategy existed. The aleatory and serial techniques used to arrive at the pitch choices completely ignored the tuning of the piano. And it is in this sense that Echo Solo would seem to be a contradiction in terms with respect to the manner in which the piano was tuned. And indeed it is, but it has the happy effect of endowing the piece with a unique sound: it clearly doesnt sound like Young, perhaps a bit more like a strange amalgamation of Cage and Boulez, but out of whack somehow. Something new..."- Azoth Schallplatten.
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