Strummmmminggg for Stringggggsss N Thingggggsss is a reworking of Charlemagne Palestine’s venerable Strumming Music from the early 70s. If you’re familiar with the string ensemble version of the piece included on the Sub Rosa reissue Strumming Music then you will not be fully prepared for this. Palestine begins solo, keening in falsetto over rubbed glasses; the strings come in lower pitched, with cellos and basses augmenting the violins. The heavier texture, with Palestine’s singing, creates a rich, complex drone that swells and heaves and, just as it seems to be dying away, is joined by prolonged rolls on a pair of tubular bells. There’s a manic energy in the sound and the gesture from the orchestra that matches Palestine’s solo performances. Miller’s piece, A Large House, was written for string orchestra and is played here by a smaller ensemble. A bass drum rolls underneath the strings as they play a slow, descending glissando. The orchestra slides down, and down, and further down. Then they keep descending. An endless Shepard tone made rough and ragged by the strings, it simultaneously falls, collapses and sinks. When you think it can’t go any further, it just ploughs on remorselessly. Listening through it is like being caught in one of those looping panic dreams that never resolve, with that giddy sense of dread and perverse exhilaration. It has the psychoacoustic trippiness of the best drone while acting as an aural Rorschach blot for the listener’s subconscious. Cranked up loud, it is a face-melting experience. (excerpt from the Boringlikeadrill review)
This CD collects two compositions by Charlemagne Palestine ("Strummmmminggg for Stringggggsss N Thingggggsss" - 1973/1974, version 2015) and Cassandra Miller ("A Large House" - 2009, revision 2015) which were recorded live in May 2015 during the 25th Angelica Festival in Bologna, Italy.
Charlemagne Palestine voice, crystal glasses, conductor (1)
Fabio Sperandio conductor (2), rehearsals conductor (1)
Alessandro Bonetti violin; David Caramia violin; Fabio Cocchi violin; Alessandro Di Marco violin; Silvia Mandolini violin; Elena Maury violin; Paolo Mora violin; Giacomo Scarponi violin; Alessandra Talamo violin; Stela Thaci violin; Laura Zagato violin; Emanuela Bascetta violin; Nicola Calzolari violin; Caterina Caminati violin; Corrado Carnevali violin; Stefano Zanolli violin; Roberto Cima cello; Mattia Cipolli cello; Elena Zivas cello; Giacomo Serra cello; Chiara Tenan cello; Alessandro Giachi contrabass; Roberto Pallotti contrabass; Gianandrea Pignoni contrabass; Fabio Quaranta contrabass; Valentino Marrè tubular bells (1), tam-tam (2), bass drum (2); Andrea Scarpa tubular bells (1), tam-tam (2), bass drum (2)