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NIBLOCK, PHILL - Touch Strings

Format: do-CD
Label & Cat.Number: Touch TO:79
Release Year: 2009
Note: the master of polychromatic drones, three new pieces based on string instruments (guitars, basses, cello, violin, piano played with nylon-strings)
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €16.50


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"This is Phill Niblock's fourth release on the Touch label. Phill Niblock is a New York-based minimalist composer and multi-media musician and director of Experimental Intermedia, a foundation born in the flames of 1968's barricade-hopping. He has been a maverick presence on the fringes of the avant garde ever since. In the history books Niblock is the forgotten Minimalist. His influence has had more impact on younger composers such as Susan Stenger, Lois V Vierk, David First, and Glenn Branca, and he's also worked with Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo. Touch Strings features three new pieces completed between 2007 and 2008. "Stosspeng," a piece for guitars and bass guitars performed by Susan Stenger and Robert Poss, premiered at the Donau Festival in Krems, Austria in April of 2007 after recording sessions to obtain materials for the piece took place at Robert Poss's Trace Elements studio in New York. The material for "Poure" was recorded in Johan Vandermaelen's Amplus studio in Aaigem, Belgium, and premiered at Schuurlo, Sint-Maria-Aalter, Belgium on September 12, 2008. Performed by Arne Deforce on cello, "Poure" was commissioned by the Centre de Recherches et de Formation Musicales de Wallonie, CRFMW, Liege, Belgium. "One Large Rose," performed by The Nelly Boyd Ensemble (Robert Engelbrecht, cello; Jan Feddersen, piano strummed with nylon strings; Peter Imig, violin; Jens Roehm, acoustic bass guitar strummed with nylon strings or e-bow), was made with the musicians playing from a score, and recorded acoustically in real time, with four recordings of 46 minutes each superimposed, until a final mix was completed at Experimental Intermedia, New York in October of 2008." [label info]

www.touchmusic.org.uk


"Awesome. Simply, awesome. Phill Niblock is an artist that every musician should aspire to be. He's tirelessly composing, performing, and hosting this seminal series at his own Experimental Intermedia loft, all well into his late '70s! If you were to think of so many
artists who had started to suck when they hit 30 or 40, the fact that Niblock is continuing to amaze as the elder statesman of NY Minimalism is all the more impressive. Never one to be effusive in his titles, Niblock's Touch Strings is a double disc of compositions for stringed instruments. The first disc is a 60 minute piece for electric guitar and bass, performed by Susan Stenger and Robert Poss (both from Band Of Susans) each restricted to only a few notes (E, F, and F#, to be specific) to coax sounds through their respective instruments with ebows. The resulting composition is an unhurried set of majestic drones, whose microtonal shifts delicately unfold over the course of the hour. Changes are definitely noticeable but only after they've
happened, as Niblock's compositional genius is thoroughly hypnotizing. The second disc is broken into two pieces, both sourced from acoustic strings. The microtones from a single cello are ripped apart and layered back as a densely packed, monumental drone that buzzes, blurs, and bends for 25 minutes. The next piece applies the same strategy but to a four piece ensemble, all of whom are building harmonic intervals along a single drone arc that Niblock then reconfigured digitally after the fact. So fucking good!" [Aquarius Records]