Thursday, 23 January 2020

Charlemagne Palestine ‎– "Strumming Music" (Shandar ‎– 83517) 1974

Born around at the same time that Moondog first stood on the corner of 54th street and 6th Avenue, Charlemagne Palestine, or Chaim Moshe Tzadik Palestine ,or, Charles Martin......so we'll just call him 'Chuck'.....was from the school of the streets, rather than some high Falutin School of Music. Early in life he fell victim,willingly, to the same Guru that grabbed LaMonte Young and Tony Conrad,
Pandit Pran Nath,who taught them the sheer thrill-less-ness of the Drone. 

That single note had the sheer bejesus squeezed out of it in the ensuing years,decades after 1965, and still gets a hammering today.
Somehow Chuck managed to get a foolish philanthrope to buy him, as he says in the sleeve notes, "the Rolls-Royce of Pianos", a Bosendorfer Grand from Vienna.They cost somewhere in the vacinity of two hundred grand,or thereabouts.
Most people, yes pianists are people too, would take full advantage of the 9 extra notes on the Bosendorfer Grand, and show off their dextrosity using most of those 97 keys...but not Chuck, oh no.....he plays one note,or one chord and holds it until your eyes bleed, and your ears have a specific hole burnt in their sonic spectrum.
Hit a key on a piano with the sustain pedal pressed down,especially with the extra resonance of the Bosendorfer, and you’ll hear the struck string ring out unencumbered. Add another note to make a chord, and the undamped strings will begin to resonate with each other and those around them, creating ethereal harmonics that ghost over the notes being struck by the hammers. Repeat in rapid succession for fifty minutes. This is the principle behind Strumming Music.
If you're looking for a nice melody,this one isn't for you.If you wanna zone out while the music resonates with the alpha waves in your brain, then this is the tool for you to switch off that troubled organ and be one with the oscillating wave forms transmitted by a quarter of a million bucks worth of kit......it's a hard life being a musician ain't it?

Tracklist:

A Strumming Music 25:10
B Strumming Music 24:40


2 comments:

parmalee said...

Noice! He da' man! Doesn't it feel better to _finally_ foist this uncanny masterpiece upon the world? Also, a note: Some irresponsible sorts--though not Jonny!--state that Palestine is simply "strumming" between two notes: E4 and B4. This is not correct. He starts and ends with that, yes, but he does introduce a handful of other notes throughout the performance. You can watch him playing it, with his animal divinities, somewheres on youtube.

Wolfgang said...

Thank you for explaining in detail why I shouldn't bother with this :) If anyone is into sheer sound as opposed to music, then why not better lie in the grass (ok, right now it's sitting on a bench preferably) and listen to the free concert of birds, airplanes, highways etc.? By the way, I have to step into an MRT scanner once a year and that makes a *lot* of noise. I do enjoy that, sounds like Esplendor Geométrico!