All of your favorites, in one place.
Four CD box set with 96-page book and enhanced CD-ROM featuring interviews, performance footage and video scores. Includes the massive "Four Violins" (1964) -- one of the world's most important and space-inhaling pieces of music ever, which was only briefly available on LP. Mainline it as loud as you possibly can. Plus: "Early Minimalism: April, 1965" (for solo violin and string quartet) ; "Early Minimalism: May 1965" [performed here by Conrad, Alexandria Gelencser (cello) and Jim O'Rourke (violin)]; "Early Minimalism: June 1965" (studio work for four multitracked violins with cello). "The story becomes familiar: In 1962 Tony Conrad's amplified strings introduced the sustained drone of just-intonation into 'minimal' music. Conrad, together with John Cale, Angus MacLise, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela formed a performance collaboration from 1962-65 sometimes known as the Dream Syndicate. Utilizing long durations and precise pitch, their aggressively mesmerizing 'Dream Music' denied the activity of composition, articulated their shared ideas of performance, and established the Big Bang of 'minimalism'. When this remarkable group dissolved in 1966, their many rehearsal and performance recordings were repressed by Young and Zazeela, and remain unheard to this day. Conrad himself stepped outside of the Dream Syndicate once: on December 19, 1964 he recorded 'Four Violins', his only 1960s solo tape of violin playing. In 1987 Conrad set out on a return expedition to the site of these fragments to unearth the losses; the result is the epic 'Early Minimalism'. The finds of 'Early Minimalism' are richest at the place where 'Four Violins' was pointing, where the lost Dream Music would have fully realized its harmonic and expressive potential. Reaching back through time, Early Minimalism weaves a mobile narrative of minimalism: making music out of history, and history out of music."
(from the liner notes:)
"'History is like music - completely in the present.' In 1962 Tony Conrad's amplified strings introduced the sustained drone of just-intonation into what became known as 'minimal' music. Utilizing long durations and precise pitch, he and his collaborators forged an aggressively mesmerizing 'Dream Music' - denying the activity of composition, elaborating shared ideas of performance, and articulating the Big Bang of 'minimialism.' However, the many rehearsal and performance recordings from this period were repressed, and remain inaccessibly buried to this day. In 1987 Conrad set out on a ten-year return expedition to the site of these entombed fragments; from them he reconstructed and regenerated the epic EARLY MINIMALISM. Reaching back through time, Tony Conrad weaves a mobile narrative over and under minimalism: making music out of history, and history out of music.