Charlemagne Palestine – From Etude to Cataclysms for the Doppio Borgato
(Sub Rosa SR272)
When I finally heard Charlemagne Palestine (aka Charles Martin) about thirteen years ago after ages of his music being an obscure rumor, I could hear similarities to other minimalist composers. There was his singing influenced by Indian classical music, electronic music with sine tones and just about best of all, his solo piano music like From Etude to Cataclysms for the Doppio Borgato. Palestine obsessively repeats notes on the piano, bringing out the overtones and generating a humming droning wall of music. There have been numerous recordings of his piano music released over the years, what makes this piece different is a double grand with 2 separate piano harps. One keyboard is played by the hands and the other like a church carillon (bells) or an organ with the feet – all the more notes to be played at once.
Originally published in the Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter.