3 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rhys Chatham has famously written and conducted pieces for 100 and 200 guitarists, and his compositions bridge the work of classic minimalists like LaMonte Young and the odd rock-guitar tunings of Chatham's former students such as Sonic Youth and Band of Susans. His general idea is that his notes don’t change so much as fluctuate in density to capture a rich variety of sonic overtones. Here, he records three compositions with different concepts for each. The title piece finds the composer returning to the format of six guitars, bass, and drums. It's interesting but typical Chatham fare. The use of a brass orchestra (with percussion) on “Harmonie de Pontarlier: The Dream of Rhonabwy” is both more unusual and fascinating thanks to the variety of instruments used to create a sustained and often transcendent feel. After that elegant second piece comes a new version of “Drastic Classicism Revisited.” Originally written in 1982, this new version recorded 30 years later illustrates how and why Chatham was so important to the post-punk and noise rock movements. All in all, this is an important new missive from an influential figure.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Rhys Chatham has famously written and conducted pieces for 100 and 200 guitarists, and his compositions bridge the work of classic minimalists like LaMonte Young and the odd rock-guitar tunings of Chatham's former students such as Sonic Youth and Band of Susans. His general idea is that his notes don’t change so much as fluctuate in density to capture a rich variety of sonic overtones. Here, he records three compositions with different concepts for each. The title piece finds the composer returning to the format of six guitars, bass, and drums. It's interesting but typical Chatham fare. The use of a brass orchestra (with percussion) on “Harmonie de Pontarlier: The Dream of Rhonabwy” is both more unusual and fascinating thanks to the variety of instruments used to create a sustained and often transcendent feel. After that elegant second piece comes a new version of “Drastic Classicism Revisited.” Originally written in 1982, this new version recorded 30 years later illustrates how and why Chatham was so important to the post-punk and noise rock movements. All in all, this is an important new missive from an influential figure.

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