on life, music etc beyond mainstream

La Monte Young credited Dennis Johnson’s 1959 piece November with inspiring The Well Tuned Piano, but no transcription of it existed until now. The only recording was a hiss-filled 100 minute long cassette (of a piece Young said could „theoretically“ be six hours long). Kyle Gann has now constructed a score from the original cassette recording, which requires the performer (in this case pianist R Andrew Lee) to improvise against several pages of Gann’s short musical score.

November was the magnum opus of a heavily abbreviated career, but one that left a largely uncredited mark on the development of minimalist composition. Nobody knows Johnson’s whereabouts, he took himself out of radio contact years ago, and it’s not known if a transcription of the piece ever existed. He also wrote a piece titled The Second Machine, but soon after abandoned music and went into computer science.

R Andrew Lee’s performance of November is being released by Penultimate Press and Irritable Hedgehog as a 4CD box set. In my early morning show, „November“ will be presented one hour long – in September.

This entry was posted on Montag, 17. Juni 2013 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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