All of your favorites, in one place.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of Philip Corner. For more than half a century he has been a cornerstone of the American musical avant-garde. A once student of Otto Leuning, Henry Cowell, Olivier Messiaen, and Dorothy Taubman, who went on to inherit John Cage’s legendary Modern Music class at the New School for Social Research. A founding member of Fluxus, Corner made waves fast, creating a body of singular work, both on his own and within ensembles like Gamelan Son of Lion and Tone Roads, founded with Malcolm Goldstein and James Tenney, which has cut its way across the decades. Among Corner’s most fascinating works are those created created between 1962 and 1964, during the period when he was resident composer at the Judson Dance theatre, one the great occurrences in the emergence of avant-garde dance, movement, Happenings, and performance art, which grew from the radical minds of figures like Yvonne Rainer, Simone Forti, Deborah Hay, David Gordon, Lucinda Childs, Steve Paxton, and Trisha Brown, often working in close conjunction with visual artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Morris and Andy Warhol. Even today, it stands among the most important examples of collaborate create exchange in the history the American arts. We are thrilled to announce a three CD box, issued by Alga Marghen in early 2000s and now out of print, gathering much of the work created during these important years in Corner’s career, signed by the composer himself. It is a thing of beauty and a must for all.
Alga Marghen’s triple box gathers On Tape From the Judson Years, and More from The Judson Years, Early 60s Instrumental and Vocal Works Volumes 1 and 2, bringing us to heart of Philip Corner’s brilliant practice and mind, offing a dazzling array of work, created in close collaboration with the realization of performative arts, and feature a cast of many of the most noted names of the day. As a totality, it is a thrilling image of where so much of what followed began. Across the first disc we are taken into emerging Corners practice of tape works – complex textures and sonority coming to live within Lucinda’s Pastime, Memories: Performances, For Thais, Oracle, An Electronic Cantata On Images Of War, Flares - The Electronic Element, and Bev's Circus Tape (Extract). The second disc is of an entirely different sort, featuring works created with a great many of Corner’s closest collaborators and friends. "Passionate Expanse of the Law, a work composed in Texas during 1959, captures an extract from its first NY performance, and featured Charlotte Moorman, Corner, and Malcolm Goldstein. Air Effect (1961), also another debut performance, encounters Corner and Goldstein working with the incredible Alison Knowles, and Malcolm Goldstein. As Pure to Begin (1963), brings as back to an intimate realm, realized by Corner on piano with preparations, objects and amplification, while Reserved Until Now" (1963), recorded at Judson, 1965, features a knock out cast of Ayo, David Behrman, Philip Corner, Malcolm Goldstein, Dick Higgins, Joe Jones, Alison Knowles, Jackson Mac Low, Charlotte Moorman, Nam June Paik, and Chieko Shiomi, and there’s even more than this.
The third and final disc takes the ear further afield, beginning with Everything Max Has (1964), a performance of Max Neuhaus solo, recorded at the ONCE Festival, 1965, captures the composer and percussionist taking down an overwhelming amount of equipment, which fills the stave. It also includes Big Trombone (1963), with Jim Fulkerson improvising over tape collage, Homage to Revere" (1962) a work for an ensemble of copper-bottom kitchen utensils, and "Punkt" (1961) for an ensemble of staccato sounds, and a number of other astounding works from the era.
As a totality, Alga Marghen’s three CD set of Corner’s incredible years spent at the Judson Theatre, are a mind boggling entry into an overwhelmingly exciting moment in time, offering, not only a pure image of the territory from which the composer’s decades of work have since sprung, but the root of a huge range of experimental practice following in his wake. This one is as important as they come. Truly seminal and beyond historically important. Did me we mention that Corner signed each of these himself!