Deep Listening

(New Albion) Used CD $42.00

“Recorded in a massive underground cistern in Washington State with a 45-second reverberation time, the recordings are defined by a surreal smearing of [the] tones [of accordion, voice, conch shell, metal pieces, trombone, didjeridu, garden hose, whistling, and metal pipes]. Like much of Oliveros’s and Dempster’s work around this time, most of these improvisations … focus [on] extended drones, with Dempster’s trombone and didjeridu providing the backbone. Far from evoking any sort of stasis, these tones swell and resonate actively throughout the space, and the effect is hallucinatory. Melodic lines intertwine as they ripple and decay, and momentarily raised voices seemingly emerge from within the insistent, omnipresent root…. In a contemporary context, Deep Listening still sounds revolutionary. While drone, minimalism, and ambient music have proliferated in the intervening decades, few albums in those fields are as rich texturally and harmonically or have such clarity of vision. The album remains vital largely because it embodies Oliveros’s ideas, which have themselves resurfaced as a corrective to the sinister undercurrents of social and technological advancement.” From 1989. Manufactured at Disque Americ.


Lung Tree

(ReR Megacorp) Used CD $4.00

Nine rather short tracks from 2005 by three West Coast improvisors, each one exploring a different mood within the realm of quiet contemplation. Dalaba and Dempster weave sinuous, slightly sad lines, occasionally engaging in spontaneous two-part skirmishes, while Rieman’s modified piano seduces the ear with unusual plink-plonking. “The Dock-Red Ice” and its sparse landscape, the quiet “Bed Shadows into Sleep,” and the dirge “Morning Light Through Smokestacks” stand out as particularly strong self-contained pieces, but each track brings its share of surprising sounds and pleasant ideas to the table.