La Monte Young amd Marian Zazeela - The Well Tuned Piano (DVDR)

Added 4 months ago
Title: La Monte Young amd Marian Zazeela - The Well Tuned Piano (DVDR)
Category: Misc
Size: 7.08 GB
Added: December 6, 2018, 1:21 pm
For those of you with whom I've been speaking about minimalists and avant-garde musicians, this is not to be missed. I didn't think I would actually do it, but I watched it, beginning to end, without pause. Sublime is an understatement.

The following is the original description:

La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela - The Well-Tuned Piano in The Magenta Lights (DVD)87 V 10, 6:43:00 PM - 87 V 11, 1:07:45 AM NYC

I've been so psyched to unleash this here. I finally got it in tonight. Countless word have been written about this piece, but I can only say that you should listen for yourself. The cloud of gushing overtones in the galloping sections of the piece are nearly too much to handle. I'm going to put a lot of quotes down here and also a technical link to this tunings.

Over the past week I dealt with one hard drive failure, so I moved my external hard drive to another computer, which subsequently got struck by lightning. So I'm busy reseeding...a tedious task, yeah, but I'm getting everything back to the tracker bit by bit, as long as my back can hold up. I hope you enjoy this.

In case you were wondering, this is the rare DVD performance that lasts over six hours long. A feat in itself.

"La Monte Young began work on his magnum opus, The Well-Tuned Piano, in 1964. For 27 years he kept the tuning a secret - only a few close friends knew it. In 1991, with the use of a calculator, a tunable Yamaha DX7, and a CD player with an A-to-B button, I tuned my synthesizer to the Gramavision recording of the work and figured out ten pitches of the tuning. Why not all 12? Because one pitch, G, never appears on that recording of the work, and another, C, only appears in one five-minute passage on the fifth CD. I told La Monte that I had figured out the tuning and wanted to publish an analysis of the work. He thought it over and agreed that it was time to release the tuning into public discourse.

La Monte Young is one of the most influential underground composers of the 20th century. His early experiments with long tones in 1957-58, fusing as they did interests in both twelve-tone music and Cagean conceptualism, led directly to the style known today as minimalism.

Inspired by Young's long tones, Terry Riley began experimenting with loops, which led to his groundbreaking work In C, the premiere performance of which included Steve Reich. Young's relentless saxophone solos of the early '60s (he once beat Eric Dolphy for a sax chair) roared with the energy of rock and the pristine tuning of Indian ragas. His rule-based improvisations under the auspices of the Theater of Eternal Music, though not heard publicly in decades, remain an icon of the psychedelic age, and were a direct influence on the Velvet Underground and art rock
In 1964 Young began what may always prove his greatest work: The Well-Tuned Piano, an improvisational yet highly structured piano work that started at 45 minutes and has, in most recent performances, extended over six hours, containing more than 50 themes and chordal areas. Young is also legendary for his sine-tone installations, assemblages of droning overtones in complex arrays of prime numbers that now explore pitch space up to the 2304th harmonic

Kyle Gann's scholarly writings on La Monte Young include two articles:
"La Monte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano" in Perspectives of New Music, Volume 31 Number 1 (Winter 1993).
A large-scale formal analysis of the Gramavision recording of the work, with many musical examples.
"The Outer Edge of Consonance: Snapshots from the Evolution of La Monte Young's Tuning Installations" in Sound and Light: La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, Bucknell Review Volume XL Number 1 (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1996).

A detailed history of Young's tuning conceptions, starting from his 1958 Trio for Strings and Composition 1960 7 (B and F with the instruction "to be held for a long time") and ending with his major sine-tone installation of the 1990s, The Base 9:7:4 Symmetry in Prime Time...., with tuning charts and score examples."

The tuning, in all octaves, is as follows, given first in frequency ratios to the tonic E-flat, then in cents (1/1200ths of an octave) above E-flat:

"The Well-Tuned Piano is the product of a lifelong enthusiasm for both Eastern mystical traditions and investigations of acoustics, natural harmonics and human pitch perception undertaken by 20th-century science. ... His resonantly retuned piano hummed and roared and seemed to sing; listeners of an earlier time would undoubtedly have believed they were hearing the Music of the Spheres made manifest."
Robert Palmer, THE NEW YORK TIMES 4/23/87

"The Well-Tuned Piano is an unparalleled exercise in attunement to sound. Each large section builds up from sparse, melodic notes to dense, stochastic clouds with such gradualness that intense listening is needed to catch the process in motion. Here, form followed acoustic necessity: the flow of momentum marshaled the vibrations of air in the room, slowly making the ear aware of sounds that weren't actually being played. The play of combination and difference tones created astounding aural illusions. Young's achievement represents the first successful implantation of an Eastern heart into a Western body (a grand piano). Considering the work's harmonic, thematic, and timbral complexity, my gut feeling was that five-plus hours was not a minute too long."
Kyle Gann, THE VILLAGE VOICE 6/9/87

"The Well-Tuned Piano reaffirmed [Young's] position as one of today's most influential composers, the main man of minimalism, who has seen his pioneering efforts flourish in artists ranging from Terry Riley to Jon Hassell to the Velvet Underground. Gramavision has captured one very good performance. The sound quality is outstanding, the attention to detail, from the enclosed booklet to Zazeela's calligraphy on the discs, painstaking. ... The added range, coupled with the alternative tuning and Young's analytical methods, simultaneously liberates and tames the piano. Without any electronic enhancement, he can make it roar with a thunderous tread in "Young's Bose Brontosaurus Boogie" or whisper in "Sunlight Filtering Through the Leaves."
Charles McCardell, THE WASHINGTON POST 5/24/87
more on Young at:

Source dvdrip
Rip Specs
401 Minutes
No Region Coding

Added after 47 minutes:

I should say that those reviews above are about the 5LP Box that came out...this DVD performance lasts over 6 and is different from the performance cited above. Astounding. At times I believe I hear reeds, others electronics, winds...the acoustic spectrum is wrought out so thoroughly here. I'm a writer but I'm having a hard time finding proper, applicable words to describe this performance.
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