Friday, March 13, 2009

Max Neuhaus - Electronics & Percussion (Columbia, 1968)

I'm not going to mince words: I love this guy. Max Neuhaus was a maniac about everything he'd ever done and the mere thought of him makes me a maniac too. If he were just a bonkers percussionist, I'd still love him. But he's more. He designed and implemented some of the most ridiculous sound works and took the training wheels off of electro-acoustics. He passed away in February of 2009, leaving behind a legacy of absolute brilliance.

Electronics & Percussion is sort of a Neuhaus vs. New Music venture, winner takes all. And Neuhaus doesn't back down. One by one, he wipes 'em clean out. Included are the following:
1. Four Systems - For Four Amplified Cymbals (Earle Brown)
2. The King of Denmark (Morton Feldman)
3. Coeur Pour Batteur - Positively Yes (Sylvano Bussotti)
4. No. 9 Zyklus for One Percussionist (Karlheinz Stockhausen)
5. Fontana Mix-Feed (John Cage)

The last two are the most of note. Neuhaus absolutely made "Fontana Mix" his own, but more of that in the future.

Electronics & Percussion

This record somewhat soured Neuhaus to the notion of himself as a musician and he turned to sound art and installations. He surreptitiously installed a sound work in a subway vent in Times Square and ran it off the city's juice for twenty years, only pulling the plug when he decided to leave the city. Neuhaus was urged to reinstall the piece, doing so in 2002. A short video from street side of what can be heard follows:

No comments:

Post a Comment