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CRAIG DWORKIN: PARADOXICALLY QUICKENING EFFECTS FROM TIME SLOWING, RETARDING AND STRETCHING
1. Erik Satie - Vexations [LTMCD 2389]
Sometime around 1893, Erik Satie penned a short modal bass theme with two variations -- three lines of music and scarcely one hundred notes, but with the suggestion that they are to be repeated eight-hundred and forty times. The score has two enigmatic legends; one concerns the order in which the bass theme and the variations are played, while the other reads: "In order to play the motif 840 times in succession, one would do well to prepare oneself in advance, and in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities." A full run through the 840 repetitions runs about one full day (24 hours). This selection, featuring Alan Marks in a performance from the late 1980s, include 1/21st of the whole -- 40 repetitions -- in just under 70 minutes.
2. La Monte Young - The Well-Tuned Piano 81 X 25 6:17:50 - 11:18:59 PM NYC [Gramavision 79452, 1987]
For decades, La Monte Young kept his tuning system a closely guarded secret, until Kyle Gann sat down with a calculator and an adjustable synthesizer and worked it out [see "La Monte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano," Perspectives of New Music 31: 1 (Winter 1993): 134-162]. Whether or not you understand the structure of perfect fifths and pure minor sevenths, or exactly what is improvised and what is structured, just one hour of the multi-hour extension quickly suspends time. This recording is from the 5-CD Gramavision set, with the composer at the keyboard, recorded in late October, 1981.
3. Eliane Radigue - Kyema: Intermediate States [XI 103, 1991]
Eliane Radigue's Kyema, from her Trilogie de Mort for analogue Arp synthesizer. Taking its inspiration from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the six intermediate states are: Kyene (Birth), Milam (Dream), Samten (Contemplation), Chikai (Death), Chonye (Clear Light), Sippai (Becoming)
4. A snippet of Leif Inge's Beethoven Stretch
Two hours of a youtube video stretching the Flight of the Bumblebee to over nine thousand percent its original length. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" is excerpted from Act III of the opera Tsar Saltan, and has recently inspired musicians to perform the work too quickly (world record speed guitar playing in 2008 and 2011, by Tiago Della Vega and John Taylor, respectively; Canadian violinists in 2010 and 2011 by Oliver Lewis and the aptly named Eric Speed, respectively) but this version goes in the opposite direction, taking what others have performed in a minute as the source for a one-hundred-and-thirty minute drone. The same poster, "hollohill" also has a file of a Rick Roll extended by almost as much.
Craig Dworkin is the author of Dure (Cuneiform, 2004), Strand (Roof, 2005), and Parse (Atelos, forthcoming). A suite of his poetry in translation was featured in Pleine Marge (no. 39). He teaches at the University of Utah, where he also edits The UbuWeb Anthology of Conceptual Writing and Eclipse.www.ubu.com/concept/
|La Monte Young||The Well-Tuned Piano|
|Eliane Radigue||Kyema, Intermediate Studies|
|Leif Inge||Nine Beet Stretch (excerpt)|
|Hollohill||Flight of the Bumblebees Stretched by Over 9000%||http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMqgPsdq9WU|
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