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Applebaum, M.: Intellectual Property I - Plundergraphic - Ferneyhough Remix - Mouseketier Praxis - Scipio Wakes Up - Pre-Composition

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Album Review

Intellectual Property is a mischievous album by a mischievous composer. Each track brings its load of surprises, the album as a whole portraying Mark Applebaum's many interests: sound sculpture, electronics, acoustic instrumentation, and "composer humor," so to speak. This very diversity can be seen as the disc's flaw, but it actually makes for a more enjoyable listen than the more single-minded Mousetrap Music or Janus Remixes. "Intellectual Property I" is a dry choice for a beginning. A piece for two improvising pianists, one recorded and one playing live, both on the same Disklavier, it combines conflicting nonidiomatic (but actually contemporary classical-oriented) and jazz passages in a rather predictable way. "Plundergraphic" is much more substantial. The piece calls for eight-channel tape (consisting of two stereo acoustic quartets and their digitally processed counterparts) mixed live with a live acoustic quartet and its processed counterpart. Rich and dizzying, the piece provides the first highlight of the set. "Ferneyhough Remix" is a very interesting, virtuoso (and short) percussion duet with tape. But the main opus of the album is "Mouseketier Praxis," a 26-minute, four-part improvisation on Applebaum's homemade contraptions. The Mouseketier is the evolution of the Mousetrap, featured on an earlier CD. Similar in concept to Hugh Davies' sculptures, it consists of a wild assortment of springs, rods, and combs mounted on electroacoustic soundboards. Applebaum displays a commanding level of creativity on the beast. "Scipio Wakes Up" features six smaller versions of the Mouseketier, the Micro Mice, in an ensemble setting (the Paul Dresher Ensemble) and the results are convincing. The album concludes with "Pre-Composition," a funny and marvelously pointless eight-channel tape piece featuring the inner voices of the composer arguing on what should be the proposed eight-channel piece — arcane humor for electroacoustic buffs. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: 1967 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Mark Applebaum is an American pianist, composer, and instrument designer. His activities cover four widely different fields: contemporary acoustic composition, electro-acoustic composition, sound sculpture, and jazz. As a composer, Applebaum has had works commissioned and performed by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, and Zeitgeist. The pièce de résistance is the "Janus Cycle" (1992 to 1996, still unrecorded). Other than instrumental music, he also writes for fixed support...
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Top Albums and Songs by Mark Applebaum

Applebaum, M.: Intellectual Property I - Plundergraphic - Ferneyhough Remix - Mouseketier Praxis - Scipio Wakes Up - Pre-Composition, Mark Applebaum
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