P.S. False Self plays music for six pianos

Sunday 11 April 2021

Speaking of disorienting piano, got wrong-footed by this recent Takuroku release by Rudi Arapahoe. Never heard of this guy before but he’s my kind of composer, drawing on algorithmic art and the Scratch Orchestra to create music that pulls away from being subjective expression. In False Self plays music for six pianos said computer-controlled keyboards cycle through cells of ‘jazzy’ riffs and silence: a simple process, but used here in a way that resists comprehension even as it tempts analysis. At first you wonder where the six pianos are, until there are too many coincidences to convince you there’s more going on than a single person playing. Long, limpid passages suddenly burst into cascading flourishes as though Harold Budd (RIP) just walked in. The four pieces here have the same torpid spontaneity of Morton Feldman’s Five Pianos, as mystifying and inscrutable as the flakes of white slowly swirling around a tropical scene set inside a snowglobe.