Ancient and New Musical Instruments

There seems to be a renaissance in the making and playing of ancient musical instruments and in the making and playing of new musical instruments. That to me can only mean one thing. That the world of sound and music is diversifying and blossoming.

 

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Fence Music and Harmonic Whirlies

I’ve been guilty myself of creating a Barbed Wire Fence Symphony (called of course Barbed Wire Fence Symphony) and whizzing pipes to make strange sounds. And while this music is unlikely to interest many people, it sure is fun to make. And it raises that unanswerable question – What is music ?

 

Moondog

Moondog (Louis Thomas Hardin) was a one of a kind ! A self taught blind Avant Garde  / Experimentalist / Jazz composer and musician who performed on the streets of New York and influenced musicians like Philip Glass and Steve Reich. If you want weird and unusual but interesting, melodic and engaging; look no further than the legendary Moondog.

 

Earth

Earth is a pioneering Drone Metal band from Olympia, Washington, that was started by Dylan Carson in 1989.

Earth laid the foundation for what would become drone music – an entire genre dedicated to slow guitar music, heavy distortion and feedback. A sound that would lead to bands like Sunn O))), Burning Witch and Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine. Earth was probably influenced by bands like the Melvins, The Swans and Black Sabbath and at a time when Grunge was popular, were pretty much alone with their own kind of sound.

When I first heard Extra-Capsular Extraction in 1991 (complete with Kurt Cobain of Nirvana), I thought, ” What the fuck is that ? It’s so cool !”. I was hooked from day 1. And even though I haven’t followed the development of Drone Metal, I still think Earth is very cool and interesting !

So turn out the lights, lay back and let the music take you into the darkness !

 

Philip Glass

I first heard Philip Glass’s music in 1989 when I was 19 and at that time I’d never heard anything like it. My girlfriend insisted on playing Einstein on the Beach while we developed film in the dark together. It certainly made the dark room interesting ! In 1992 she begged me to go and see Einstein on the Beach in Melbourne but I was too poor and too lazy to go. In hindsight I wish that I had. Since then I’ve continued to enjoy Philip Glass’s music now and then. My favourite album is Metamorphosis, which I feel is a minimalist master piece. Followed by Etudes 1-10. Einstein on the Beach is very interesting and clever but like a lot of minimalism lacks any real depth of feeling. Still, I like it. Glass has been one of the great catalysts of minimalist music and I suspect his music will continue to be listened to and to influence people for centuries to come.