Music For The Open-Minded

If, like me, you have an open mind to new music, then you will be continually searching for more interesting, challenging and absorbing music to listen to. It may be an obscure classical composer, an improvising trio, or a progressive rock band, but whatever it is, it should make you re-think your knowledge of music, with the need to listen to it again and again trying to find out what makes it tick.

This page is intended to be a forum for presenting personal opinions about music you may not even have known existed. I will start with a list of CDs from my collection which I think are appropriate, and review them when I have time.

You are encouraged to add to this list by sending me an e-mail to arb@sat.dundee.ac.uk.

Is it techno or just a buzzing noise?
Ø - Metri
At first it sounds simply like a collection of pulses and tones, but the phase changes and bass add up to more than that.
Download track 3 (MP3, 1 MB extract)
Download track 9 (MP3, 700 KB extract)
Download track 11 (MP3, 700 KB extract)

Industrial soundscape or avant-garde classical?
Iancu Dumitrescu - Pierre Sacrées

Prepared piano and metal objects. "A thundering, urban edifice illuminated only by flying sparks and reverberating with the hollow boom of deflected metal. But even the most staggering constructions are put together brick by brick, or note by note, and Dumitrescu pays great attention to detail, releasing vast amounts of energy like a nuclear explosion from the tiniest components." - Alwynne Pritchard, BBC Radio 3, introducing the track "Pierre Sacrees".
Download track 1 (MP3, 1.5 MB extract)

Prog rock or classical chamber music?
Art Zoyd - Archives
Univers Zero - Heresie

Two very different discs, the similarity being the use of instruments such as violin and cello. The addition of drums and sometimes guitar, plus reeds and horns takes it away from the chamber quartet setting.

Jazz fusion or Jungle?
Squarepusher - Feed Me Weird Things

Insane cut-up break-beats and live jazz bass guitar!

Microtonal improvisation?
Marilyn Crispell and Georg Graewe - Piano Duets

Not just microtonal piano duets, but Diagonal Tuning, where both pianos are tuned a quarter-tone apart in their middle registers, while the lower and upper registers are stretched flat, respectively sharp, gradually within the range of a minor second.

Jazz or computer compositions?
Doctor Nerve - Armed Observation / Out To Bomb Fresh Kings

Jazz instrumentation but compositions so difficult only a computer could create them!

Free throat singing
Sainkho Namchylak

Sainkho is a Tuvan throat singer; here she is joined live by jazz musicians.

Maximalist classical
Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji

Dinyar describes Sorabji and his music: "Sorabji (1892 - 1988) was a reclusive composer and pianist who turned his back on reputation and fame early on, not allowing his works to be performed (he relented in later life). As a result the works are often scored for enormous (and uneconomical) forces and pay no heed to the patience and butt of the listener - going into several hours. But what an interesting composer he is - a true maximalist, filling his scores with notes, requiring the player to have a third arm at the very least. It's heady, sensuous, non-repetitive music of the utmost richness, like sitting in a steaming bath of perfumed vapours and being showered with jewels! So, not to everyone's taste, but with the force of an ocean tide if you get into it."
Download Kaikhosru Sorabji - Organ Symphony No.1 (MP3, 1 MB extract)

More MP3 samples

Some more appropriate extracts in MP3 format
Download Trevor Wishart - Red Bird (MP3, 1 MB extract)
Download Paul Dolden - Below the Walls of Jericho (MP3, 1.5 MB extract)

Oh, run out of time. More later...

P.S. What a load of twaddle I've written above! Ignore it, enjoy the music, buy the CDs :-)


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