What’s on top of the (virtual) pile?

Tuesday 17 February 2009

A whole bunch of stuff by Earle Brown
Brown is an influential but overlooked composer, who’s guaranteed at least a footnote in history for his association with John Cage and his radical experiments in music notation. He’s one of those composers you might hear about a lot, without ever actually hearing them.
The Earle Brown Music Foundation has thoughtfully been uploading sound files of a number of his compositions, in addition to program notes and samples of his manuscripts, so now you can hear them for yourself. Available Forms I is a concise introduction to his open form style, Module I and Module II (performed simultaneously) are a contrasting study in austerity.
A couple of hours’ worth of assorted Bo Diddley tracks
His status as The Originator served as much to constrict his reputation as it did to celebrate it. I’ve only got into his stuff since his death, and discovered that not only did he rock hard, he was an out-and-out loon with a boundless capacity to surprise. The Probe has put up a nifty little selection of eclectic cuts as a tribute.

(Way back last time on the pile…)