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Frith, Fred: Impur

In 1996, Fred organised an event at the National School of Music at Villeurbanne, near Lyons. The experiment involved a huge number of the students, grouped in departments, each in a different room, playing in their particular styles, rock, antique music, African rhythms, classical, folk etc. but with music prepared from the by Fred. During the playing members of the public were asked to go around and create their own mixes or just to sit in the central courtyard and absorb the music filtering through the open windows.

In order to co-ordinate all the groups, everyone followed a precise pattern of 55 minutes regulated by synchronised stopwatches. The entire event was recorded on four A-DAT machines and this CD is the resultant mix.

The outcome is an intriguing piece of performance art rather than a piece of intelligible music. The recording combines incidental sounds, orchestral tuning and composed works in a haphazard but occasionally interesting collage of lurching, wheedling, meandering sound.

For much of the time there is no obvious melody or rhythm but, rather like walking through fog, the sax, African drums and piano arrangements loom out at you before dying away to be replaced by some other musical image. A strangely compelling work.

Added: March 18th 2007
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Score:
Related Link: ReR Megacorp
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Language: english

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