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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Tony Conrad - "Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain" 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album, 2017 (Superior Viaduct)

A combination of Violin, something called the Long String Drone, and of course, the Bass Pulse is a blissful listening experience.  Ambient it's ain't because the music makes the listener pay full attention.  A good work to play loud, and a groove maker it is.   Tony Conrad had put together a multi-media presentation called "Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain" in 1972, and this is the recording of its soundtrack or music at the world famous Kitchen in New York City. 

I can't speak for the event because I wasn't there, but the music holds up significantly due to its length, and the skills of the three musicians on this specific piece.  Laurie Spiegel plays what I think is a bass guitar, but not sure.  The liner notes are not that clear what she's exactly playing.  Rhys Chatham plays the Long String Drone, an instrument made by Conrad.  It is a drone instrument, but it has a bass type of sound as well.  So the combination of the Bass Pulse and Chatham's playing of the Drone has a strong rhythmic foundation backing Conrad's cluster full of droning notes. 

As most things called Minimalism, this is actually a maximum piece of work.  Pure in mind, but complex in its structure and takes a physical stance playing this music.   Conrad had done performances of this piece using various instrumentation, but alas, those shows were not recorded (as far as I know), so the opening or premiere is what this album is.  The ultimate headphone laying on the floor with a pillow type of music. I love it.