AMN Reviews: Brendon Randall-Myers & Dither – Dynamics of Vanishing Bodies [New Focus Recordings fcr264]

Dynamics of Vanishing Bodies, Brendon Randall-Myers’ five-movement, album-length work for four electric guitars, sounds something like a scaled-down variation on some of Glenn Branca’s long-form symphonies for massed guitar orchestra. That shouldn’t be entirely surprising, given that Randall-Myers, himself a guitarist as well as a composer, participated in the Glenn Branca Ensemble and conducted it after Branca’s death. Randall-Myers’ background in punk and metal is also evident, particularly in the work’s distorted timbres and dissonances. Randall-Myers builds much of the collective sound as an accumulation of interlocking, short motifs and/or rhythms; rather than going for an effect of sheer sonic mass, he leaves open spaces over which the ringing ends of these brief riffs can hang. The guitars, played here by the Dither quartet of Taylor Levine, Joshua Lopes, James Moore and Gyan Riley, put out a shimmeringly rich, reverb-drenched sound augmented by sustaining pedals and loops.

http://www.newfocusrecordings.com

Daniel Barbiero

Terry Riley – More Than Just Minimalism at Le Poisson Rouge

From NYTimes.com:

More than 45 years have passed since Terry Riley composed “In C,” a watershed work that heralded the breakthrough of Minimalism. The piece is in no danger of losing its freshness; the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, a mostly undergraduate group based in Michigan, will release a new recording of “In C” in November, along with a second CD containing 18 imaginative remixes. The Michigan players will celebrate their new album with a concert at Le Poisson Rouge on Nov. 8.

But when Mr. Riley appeared at that club on Sunday night, “In C” was the furthest thing from the agenda. What became clear during the performance — which also featured Mr. Riley’s son, the guitarist and composer Gyan Riley; Tracy Silverman, an electric-violinist; and Ches Smith, a percussionist — was just how poorly the Minimalist label suits Mr. Riley now.

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