Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ilhan Mimaroglu - Face the Windmills, Turn Left (Finnadar, 1976)

The recordings on Face the Windmills, Turn Left date as some of Ilhan Mimaroglu's earliest works at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. The Turkish-born composer came to Columbia-Princeton in the early 1960s, working largely under the mentorship of Vladimir Ussachevsky. While Mimaroglu and Ussachevsky share very little aesthetic common ground, there can be no mistaking a shared technical prowess. Mimaroglu's transformations here are fascinating, mangling both natural and electronic sources with a pace and logical all his own. The majority of these works are built from single sources, which Mimaroglu often renders nearly unrecognizable. "Bowery Bum" (inspired by the spiraling line drawings of Jean Dubuffet) and "Prelude No. 11" are both built from the carefully amplified sounds of rubber bands. However, where "Bowery Bum" wears its unmistakable tape sounds with pride, "Prelude No. 11" presents as the work of a virtuoso rubber bandist, if ever there was one. Oddly, the purely electronic pieces such as "Agony" and "Prelude No. 14" seem the most likely to conjure real world images, however bizarre and absurd those images might be.

Face the Windmills, Turn Left


  1. I am curious to hear this. I have a couple of the Finnadar releases, Donald Knaack's Cage and Duchamp album and Mimaroglu's Electronic Music for Jean Dubuffet's Coucou Bazar.

  2. My new favourite blog!! .I've got this LP...lovely stuff...look forward to discovering loads more zonked titles!..Many many thanks.

  3. Holy Smokes! Thanks for this :-)

    If you haven't seen it there's a 3 part Flac-encoded set of Mimaroglu recordings up at archive-dot-org; they're pretty ace. There's overlap with this but then again it's not like that's a real issue ;-)

    The sets are nos. 30-32 in the Avant Garde Project...

  4. Thank you very much for making this available. I used to have this album when it was new, and have always fondly remembered the "Mimaroglu rubber band pieces" whose exact titles I'd forgotten.

    Looks like you have a very interesting blog here. I may be able to dig up some old electronic music material to share, if so I'll upload. Thanks again, hope you'll keep up the good work.

  5. thanks - love the blog!!! Please come back!!!