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All his life, my father played the trombone and sang; just before he died, he became a music critic. He said "Chords, yes Alvin, but it needs more melody." SCHTYX was the answer. It opens with a dotted quarter at 50. From the start, implications appear and never cease. They remain open for business like a river. The melody, first thought terminal, is recycled on a child's buzz saw, but then reappears as a mensch. Ten minutes later, it turns up a 5/4 Waltz scrutinized by a group of unemployed harmonica players in the center of Darmstadt. It then visits Persia, Buffalo and Irene coming to rest on a bed of one-note hymns in Braxton's former studio. SCHTYX are a rim-shot away from the Grand Canal; there a gondoliere can be heard singing an early Christian song by Wolf. Later in the day on Piazza Navona, Willie 4X Jam will be seen selling cool hip-hop riffs to a gang of Neapolitain bass-drum smugglers. SCHTYX are charts, bones, professions, shades, numbers, glues, hypes, acts, devils, organgrindings, wood implements, jugglers, chance operations, performance art, the Yiddish underground.
SCHTYX are what you use to get away with it. For example, from the wings of the theater a chair is moved mercilessly from left to right. Its angle to the river determines the tempi as well as the amount of hommage owed to Satie's furniture store. All this occurs in strict urban counterpoint as if from John's window on l8th St. The violin has multiple tasks such as peddling unmuted hats and footwear on the bridge; similarly the pianist in bar seven has a chick-pea attack followed by chords of smoked trout and marbles. Clark Coolidge supplied the book; later he faxed the instructions. So in the E flat Adagietto, Miles runs when Edith says "cookie." Sections come and go and cardboard boxes full of sampled objects are launched from the marimba theme park. Trisha Brown makes a gypsy violin maker cry on l9th century harmonics while dog whistles are blown, harmonicas inhaled. Three violins come from their cases, Chicago style get down and howl softly at the moon. Yet another tune over the arpeggiated piano rolls and no one can hold the violin's identity back any longer. The school is overrun with Irish tenors. Melody bursts from the bathroom and the traps break into patterns remeniscent of Sonia Delauney's recent paintings. A plastic windshield scraper used to cut the Bazooka gum in equal meters is now discarded leaving the musicians to quickly figure out what to do next. The violin scrolls and plays only what's written, the other two only play from the mayonnaise stains on their scores. Is it Torah or Fakebook ? ING or DURING? Cecil Taylor, Cole Porter and Morty Feldman have a conference call - they decide to order a Golem. Fellini thought it was a great idea but said he couldn't be there. Gabriella Munter painted Kandinsky in bed from the next room in Munich. This music was written 35 kilometers southeast of Rome. (Alvin Curran)
Cat. number: CD 668