Saturday, 25 January 2020

Jon Gibson ‎– "Visitations" (Chatham Square Productions ‎– STEREO LP 12) 1973

Erstwhile multi-instrumentalist and Philip Glass Ensemble stalwart, Jon Gibson, also had a go at this minimalism lark. Produced by his mate, Philip Glass's official number 2,Kurt Munkacsi, "Visitations" sounds more like a backing tack to an Alice Coltrane, or Pharoah Sanders album than a minimalist drone epic,which begs the question of, When does the minimalism tag end and experimental composition begin?
Gibson gets in because he was in the Philip Glass ensemble, and he uses tapes in his pieces like Steve Reich does.But like most genres,notably different pieces of work all get lumped into one box.
Basically there are two types of minimalism it seems, the repetitive type, and the Droney type.Whereas Charlemagne Palestine sits comfortably in two camps, i don't think this fits in either.....but who cares, its good.Relying on a constant barrage of percussive noise,with recordings of oceans and bird-song, backing up the plaintive howl of a wooden flute; it represents the ever quieting scream of nature as humankind, or human unkind, slowly asphyxiates the stuff that give us life and a reason for being.
I saw a documentary on our impending doom, and it visited a Eucalyptus plantation in a former part of the Amazon Rainforest(they are good for making toilet paper apparently!?),and the host,after complaining about these out of place alien trees from another world (Australia) living where they shouldn't be, like a 'Visitation';he pointed out the most disturbing thing about it all,.... it was totally Silent! No birdsong no nothing could be picked up by the microphone.Dead.
This record is the sound of survival,and for me, it is far too optimistic.The real sound of the future is more like one of the quieter minimalist pieces.One of those Alvin Lucier single electronic tone things,but we are nearing the end of side four.
We are just visiting after all it seems?


1. Visitations Part one (21:01)
2. Visitations Part Two (20:11)

DOWNLOAD the sound of an unspoilt planet HERE!

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