Wednesday, July 07, 2021

John Cage - Variations VII [Epicentre Editions]

The music of John Cage. Undoubtedly ecletic, unique, avantgarde, pioneering and at the forefront of everything, be it sonically or in the use of exploring new technical possibilities. This goes for the artists entire discography but especially for the now re-enacted and re-recorded piece "Variations VII" which has been released via the new label Epicentre Editions in mid-June of 2k21. Originally conceptualized for an event held in October of 1966 with the sounds of ten NYC locations brought in via (analogue!!!) telephone lines to the event venue this new variation and interpretation was recorded on August 15th, 2k20 at the Le Bruit De La Musique Festival - this time with a total of 17 artists involved as well as chance operations executed via computer programs added into the mix. The result of this new re-recording is monumental indeed, with a massive 68 minute main piece accompanied by a short intro and outro sequence bringing forth an intense collage of muffled Field Recordings of a melange of voices, electroacoustic sweeps and manipulations, scraping, nerve-wrecking transmissions seemingly coming from a construction site, radio broadcasts of unknown origin, twangy guitar micro-interventions, screaming babies as well as ominous, threatening low frequency shifts, all sorts of Found Sounds, short sawtooth modulations, sinewave bleeps, electrical buzzes and whatever it takes for a truly Avantgarde composition that didn't even come with an original score, yet ends up to be a fascinating sonic experience requiring multiple focused listening session to embrace, discover and unveil every detail that's going on here - including fragmented echoes of Jimmy Somerville's "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)". Essential.

Album artwork on Instagram!


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