Ragnar Grippe – Sand
First issued in 1977 as Shandar Records LP 83518, this recording features organ, recorder, harmonica, electric guitar, bells, voice, thumb organ (whatever that is) and maracas. “Recorded using consecutive overdubbing” indicate the liner notes. This technique sounds like a live tape delay system similar to the one Terry Riley used. In fact, the very rare Shandar label was at one time, also home to Terry Riley and La Monte Young. There also seems to be a lot of reverb, creating a slap-back-sort-of-echo, wet cave like environment.
Ragnar Grippe, a student of composer Luc Ferrari at the time, composed, performed and recorded Sand in Paris, France.
Inspired by the sand paintings of Viswanadhan and I guess the person on the cover is Viswanadhan. Viewed from above, the image on the cover shows a person leaning into a very large red disk with his/her arm out stretched. The green hub in the middle looks suspiciously like the hub inside my disc man.
Sections of the music ebb and flow with repetitions of the delay system like sand. Quite rhythmic with all the echo, there are moments where the harmonica reminds one of a Thai khene (mouth organ). Maybe I’m really hearing a thumb organ?
With all the current interest in minimal ambient electro-acoustic music, the obscure re-issues keep coming. Too cool.
Originally published on line at Juxtaposion Ezine.