Sunday, August 31, 2008

La Monte Young - Poem for Tables, Chairs, Benches etc. (C)

La Monte Young… Celebrated leader of the minimalist style, and well among the first. He has created a large number of interesting things throughout his rather expansive career. Poems for Tables, Chairs, Benches etc. warms up with a very simple and calming sort of eastern chant with a buzzing drone underneath that creates a completely soothing effect for nearly 40 minutes (Raga for Ravi). As the song progresses, a second voice and some percussion is added, creating a slow change and a personal catharsis. In a sort of sharp contrast, the title pieces "Poem for Tables, Chairs, Benches etc (Parts 1 and 2)" present a sort of early noisescape filled with the shrieks and howls of moving furniture. There's not too much variation and the repetition, again, creates a different sort of trance to engage yourself in as you plummet into the abyss. "Two Sounds" is a more barren collection of strange sounds, perhaps treated, and perhaps not. The asynchronous rhythm leaves the listener feeling lopsided and ill-at-ease, but again enthralled with the strange sounds presented to them. I highly recommend this collection for anyone new to Young' work.

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