Author Topic: LaMonte Young's Wild Kingdom  (Read 9908 times)

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snyprrr

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LaMonte Young's Wild Kingdom
« on: March 12, 2009, 08:52:04 PM »
i erroneously posted on the terry riley thread.

G Song is by Young.

he is also the father of a 60min string trio based on the hum of high tension wires.

and he used to look like james dean. or elvis....
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 12:54:59 PM by snyprrr »

Offline Dax

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2009, 05:55:23 AM »
Here's a (very old) article

http://www.users.waitrose.com/~chobbs/smithyoung.html

But for stuff from the horse's mouth, go to

http://www.melafoundation.org/lmy.htm

Offline jowcol

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2009, 01:13:24 PM »
I'll bite.

I find him to be one of the most "engaging" of the minimalists, but getting a hold of his material is a bear.  He charges a fortune for his music and it's hard to find.  I was lucky enough to snap up a couple of his discs before the prices for used copies went into the stratosphere.

First, I think he's probably due credit of being the first minimalist, from the accounts I read.  One thing that runs across his work is an emphasis on natural tempered scales and a rejection of the equal-tempered scales.  There is some validity in this-- a lot of drone-based music just doesn't work as well in equal tempered because the overtones aren't as rich.  (One reason why classical Indian music doesn't work as well on equal-tempered instruments.)

The Well-Tuned Piano is a pretty mind bending work-- It's about 5 hours (depending on the performance) of solo piano on a specially tuned piano that supposedly kept a team of engineers VERY busy to keep it tuned properly. Used copies on Amazon run start at $2000!. 

Frankly, I don't feel the need to listen to the whole thing in a row, but it really does bend your mind so that it will keep playing in your head for hours.

I've have Just Stompin with the Forever Bad Blues Band-- a 120 minute blues jam with microtonal instruments.   It's a great album to work to, it makes you not want to be interrupted.  The opening 20 minutes is really profound, slowly unfolding, and generating great tension.  After that, however, it becomes a wailing fusion fest (with a 6 on 4 rhythm) that is fun, and hypnotic, but a bit of a let down. Actually, the dullest part is the keyboard "solo" he plays, but the overtones it generates are pretty cool.

At one point I also got a cassette dub of a Dream Syndicate session that he made with John Cale (before the Velvet Undergrand) and Angus McLise (one of the weirdest characters in 60's music)  I must admit the quality is terrible, and I tried to listen to it with a 103.9 degree fever, and I've been afraid to give it another listen.  I believe there is a cd release, but it's not officially sanctioned, and the sound is supposed to be bed. .  It's pretty spooky stuff, but it's frustrating that Young hasn't wanted to release the originals.

I'm curious about his other work-- but not enough to shell out serveral hundred dollars for a disc. 

anyway-- your mileage may vary.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

greg

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2009, 01:28:23 PM »
Quote
The Well-Tuned Piano is a pretty mind bending work-- It's about 5 hours (depending on the performance) of solo piano on a specially tuned piano that supposedly kept a team of engineers VERY busy to keep it tuned properly. Used copies on Amazon run start at $2000!.
Now it says it's been discontinued.
Doing a search for him on Amazon, you see maybe 3 or 4 CDs that you can buy with his music- but they're all just additional tracks on CDs that include other minimalists. Pretty odd for one of the founding fathers of minimalism, especially when you think that's it's a genre that produced Philip Glass, who has gone on to write for tons of movies that tons of people have seen, not to mention everything else.

sul G

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2009, 01:31:38 PM »
i erroneously posted on the terry riley thread.

G Song is by Young.

Maybe Young wrote a G Song too, but Riley certainly did. I have the CD in front of me right now!

snyprrr

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2009, 12:08:50 PM »
maybe the "G Song" i was thinking about was i fact the "Forever Bad Blues Band" 2-cd mentioned earlier. the description sounds exactly like what i had.

just goes to show i have difficulty separating Riley and Young.

Offline istanbul

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2009, 07:45:49 AM »
i only listened two  works from la monte young;
trio for strings (1958)
the tamburads of pandit pran nath(1999)
specially second work very interesting.


Offline milk

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2014, 02:25:49 AM »
We are lucky to have the Well-Tuned Piano available as a free podcast on something called "No Such Program." I downloaded it via itunes. I finally got through all of it. I couldn't try all at once but I went with it on my commutes this week. I think this is strikingly beautiful music. I was moved, enthralled, elevated, enlivened, entranced, etc. It did a lot for me. Is this really all one guy with two hands? Sometimes I'm thinking there is a tape or something. Maybe not. Anyway, what else to say? I dig it!

Offline 7/4

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2014, 03:22:10 AM »
We are lucky to have the Well-Tuned Piano available as a free podcast on something called "No Such Program." I downloaded it via itunes. I finally got through all of it. I couldn't try all at once but I went with it on my commutes this week. I think this is strikingly beautiful music. I was moved, enthralled, elevated, enlivened, entranced, etc. It did a lot for me. Is this really all one guy with two hands? Sometimes I'm thinking there is a tape or something. Maybe not. Anyway, what else to say? I dig it!

Good for you! Theres a DVD (out of print of course) of the last performance. More than six hours, it looks like it's been removed from utube.

Offline milk

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2014, 04:10:16 AM »
Good for you! Theres a DVD (out of print of course) of the last performance. More than six hours, it looks like it's been removed from utube.
I'm just delighted by this music. I wanted to compare it to Riley's Albion but now that's washed away and I'll have to try it again to see. But my impression is that Albion is more lyrical and Young more abstract. But I have to check. I love them both anyway but the Young piece amazed me.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2014, 10:47:03 AM »
I'm just delighted by this music. I wanted to compare it to Riley's Albion but now that's washed away and I'll have to try it again to see. But my impression is that Albion is more lyrical and Young more abstract. But I have to check. I love them both anyway but the Young piece amazed me.

If you like this music (as I do), then try also Charlemagne Palestine. And there's Morton Feldman too.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 11:08:38 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline milk

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2014, 03:46:16 PM »
If you like this music (as I do), then try also Charlemagne Palestine. And there's Morton Feldman too.
Feldman is my favorite composer these days. I just got his book "Give My Regards to 8th St!" Looking forward to it! Never heard of Palestine (as a person). Thanks! I'll check it out!

Offline 7/4

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Re: LaMonte Young's Junction
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2014, 07:02:44 AM »
I'd never heard of Charlemagne Palestine until his music started to get reissued for the first time on CD. I know he was a Pandit Pran Nath student, but he never got mentioned in relation to Le Monte Young or Terry Riley. He must have not been part of the gang.

His piano music is beautiful. I'm pretty sure he's playing in 12 tone equal temperament, but he plays one thing for a long period of time and the overtones ring out.

Offline torut

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2014, 04:53:29 PM »
If you like this music (as I do), then try also Charlemagne Palestine. And there's Morton Feldman too.
I'd never heard of Charlemagne Palestine until his music started to get reissued for the first time on CD. I know he was a Pandit Pran Nath student, but he never got mentioned in relation to Le Monte Young or Terry Riley. He must have not been part of the gang.

His piano music is beautiful. I'm pretty sure he's playing in 12 tone equal temperament, but he plays one thing for a long period of time and the overtones ring out.

I purchased his Strumming Music for Piano, Harpsichord and Strings Ensemble today, and it is really good. Thank you. At first, I thought it was too repetitive, but as I kept listening to it, it was getting better and better, and I came to like the sound so much. All of the 3 works are beautiful, but the piano work is especially impressive. At certain moments, it reminded me of Reich's Music For 18 Musicians.

Offline milk

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Re: LaMonte Young
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2014, 12:58:54 AM »
I purchased his Strumming Music for Piano, Harpsichord and Strings Ensemble today, and it is really good. Thank you. At first, I thought it was too repetitive, but as I kept listening to it, it was getting better and better, and I came to like the sound so much. All of the 3 works are beautiful, but the piano work is especially impressive. At certain moments, it reminded me of Reich's Music For 18 Musicians.
Ah, that's the one I put on my list. Great. Then I will get it.

Offline 7/4

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Re: LaMonte Young's Junction
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2014, 03:43:40 AM »
LaMonte Young's Junction?

His name is La Monte. Seems trivial, but he doesn't think it is.

How about a thread title that makes sense like La Monte Young's Clouds. He calls those big sections where he's playing a chord in the WTP and the sum & difference tones are ringing out clouds.

Offline 7/4

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Re: LaMonte Young's Junction
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2014, 07:42:32 AM »
La Monte Young's Ratio?

Offline torut

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Re: LaMonte Young's Junction
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2014, 10:53:18 AM »
Charlemagne Palestine's Schlingen-Blängen is also nice. It is an organ work of sustained notes with subtle changes of sounds by operating stops. There is almost no movement.

I am listening to La Monte Young's Trio for Strings. A mp3 of 1958 performance is available here. It is a sequence of long tones and silences. According to Wikipedia, there are several versions of the work. Has anyone heard these?

Trio for Strings (1958), violin, viola, cello;
Trio for Strings (1983) Versions for string quartet, string orchestra, and violin, viola, cello, bass;
Trio for Strings, trio basso version (1984), viola, cello, bass;
Trio for Strings, sextet version (1984);
Trio for Strings, String Octet Version (1984), 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 2 basses;
Trio for Strings Postlude from The Subsequent Dreams of China (c. 1984), bowed strings;
Trio for Strings (1958) Just Intonation Version (1984-2001-2005), 2 cellos, 2 violins, 2 violas;

snyprrr

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Re: LaMonte Young's Junction
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2014, 12:54:39 PM »
LaMonte Young's Junction?

His name is La Monte. Seems trivial, but he doesn't think it is.

How about a thread title that makes sense like La Monte Young's Clouds. He calls those big sections where he's playing a chord in the WTP and the sum & difference tones are ringing out clouds.

I was thinking like Apache Junction in Arizona- desert music- that makes sense! I'm not completely sold either,... but 'Ratio'? Something about the desert though... 'Cactus'?

Offline torut

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Re: LaMonte Young's Wild Kingdom
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2014, 04:06:20 PM »
I guess that means Young's modulus (modulus of longitudinal elasticity). I believe I learned it at school but have forgotten the definition completely.

Listening to Young's SQ On Remembering A Naiad (1956) that was composed before Trio for Strings (1958). It is a nice short piece, more like a typical avant-garde composition, not drones.
Is there any box set containing Young's major chamber works?