The World’s Longest Melody is a collection of experimental music written for the guitar by composer/guitarist Larry Polansky (b 1954). The guitar has long been an important component in Polansky’s musical explorations, and this CD has grown from the enthusiasm for his work by the musicians of the Belgian electric guitar quartet ZWERM.
The acoustic and electric guitar are featured both solo and in small and large combinations; a few pieces not originally conceived for the instrument are also presented here in guitar-oriented guise. These works explore new techniques of experimental intonation, computer composition, and extraordinary and new modes of playing the guitar.
It includes the premiere recording of his radically difficult for jim, ben and lou (harp, guitar, and percussion) in which the percussionist retunes the strings to different just intonations as the piece progresses. Given the endlessly fluent and fertile nature of Polansky’s imagination one is somehow reluctant to describe any of his individual compositions as a masterpiece: but certainly this work powerfully encapsulates a wide range of his preoccupations and integrates them into a coherent whole that could not be mistaken for the work of any other composer.
Toon Callier, Larry Polansky, guitars; Jutta Troch, harp; Jeroen Stevens, live guitar tuning & percussion; W. Victor, voice; Stefan Prins, live electronics; ZWERM—electric guitar quartet: Toon Callier, Matthias Koole, Johannes Westendorp, Kobe Van Cauwenberghe; [sic]—saxophone quartet & drums: Bertel Schollaert, soprano sax; Eva Vermeiren, tenor sax; Thomas Van Gelder, baritone sax; Maarten Jan Huysmans, alto sax; Mattijs Vanderleen, drums