Drones and Dreams

Rod Poole index

Drones and Dreams
May 15, 2002
by Tony Mostrom

WORLD OUT OF TUNE FESTIVAL at Highland Grounds, May 4

original article:
http://www.laweekly.com/music/drones-and-dreams-2134808

Most of the lineup here promised sure-fire microtonal goodness, including two of L.A.’s best exponents of the kind of Eastern-tinged drones and repetitive, trickling mallet-and-string minimalism one associates with microtonal composers like Lou Harrison, Harry Partch and Terry Riley. Then there was the wild card: the ominously unknown Microtonal Rock & Roll Act . . .

Arriving just before showtime, I find the place pleasingly noisy and packed; loud espresso noises hiss from behind the counter, while some cornball Pretenders-ish pop plays over the PA. First on the bill is the acoustic drone trio Voice of the Bowed Guitar, and I see San Franciscan Doug Williford (thereof) sitting cross-legged amid piles of gear, his violin bow in hand; attentive. Three shiny acoustic guitars lay on the stage.

Joseph Hammer walks in and crouches down, and once Rod Poole announces the “band” above the din of people talking, all is quiet.

Then it commences.

The drone: a huge, dark, buzzing-edged chord rises up from the three slowly bowed instruments, lush and tense, violin bows crawling back and forth without a break, scree-ing high overtones tinny in our ears, above the one dark note. It’s a loud, densely layered forest of harmonies; buzzes and high squeals hover above, then get lost again in the resulting distilled chord that plows consistently on.

Some people sit with eyes closed, letting the gigantic, overlapping sighs envelop their faces and the room: ssshhhhiiiisshh . . . It’s menacing and satisfying. (Later:) What time is it? Who knows? But suddenly the sawing becomes insistently louder (and I cup my ears, and it becomes even sharper and more powerful). Standing up to sketch the crouched-over trio, I see they’re sawing the guitars faster now, but who would’ve known? Then, one by one, it ends. Audience pleased, ravished.

Following some overwrought and out-of-place ’70s rock by Swallow (of New York) that goes too long and empties the place, the 10 or 12 of us who stay are rewarded with the incredibly beautiful, dreamy, wind-chiming, abstract, bell-like flutters and swirling patterns of a gorgeous Kraig Grady piece for two vibraphones. Bong . . . It ‘s the only piece that gives me hallucinations: bursting magenta flowers, dreams inside a Japanese children’s book. It feels like water.

Last up: David Beardsley (of New York) plays a short piece of humming, layered tones on his densely fretted electric guitar, bravely competing with the cashieress, who, oblivious, loudly closes down the register. Pissed at her, but we like Beardsley.

Advertisements
1 comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Microtonal Projects' BLOG

we promote, research, perform and educate

Musica Kaleidoskopea

a kaleidoscopic view of music

The Canterbury scene(zine) continued....

Random ramblings nearly 30 years further on from a Canterbury scene veteran

David Beardsley

microtonal guitarist and composer

The Hum Blog

a blog for the-hum.com

Luminiferous Aether Drift

This massless business

J.C. Combs

acoustic and electronic arts

Ted Greene Archive

Immortalizing Beauty Through Music

Atonality.net

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

New Music Buff

Random perspectives from an informed new music fan.

…after…

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

The Watchful Ear

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Field Stations and Outposts of Anaphoria Island

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Make Your Own Taste

Eclectic reviews of ambient, psychedelic, post-rock, folk and progressive rock ... etc.!

Articulate Silences

Tacet / Tacet / Tacet

David Rothenberg

musician, composer, author and philosopher-naturalist

Professorscosco

Scott Healy's Jazz Composition Blog: Writing, Arranging and Listening

Avant Music News

A source for news on music that is challenging, interesting, different, progressive, introspective, or just plain weird

Do The Math

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

grexsounds

Just another WordPress.com site

Music : NPR

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

destination: OUT

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Sequenza21/

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Renewable Music

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Miniatures Blog

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Mixed Meters

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

PostClassic

thoughts about music by David Beardsley

Bob Gluck's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Today Is The Question: Ted Panken on Music, Politics and the Arts

My thoughts and writings on jazz and the world around it.

davidtoop

a sinister resonance

PostClassic

Kyle Gann on music after the fact

%d bloggers like this: