Roger Reynolds

Roger Reynolds: All Known, All White

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All Known All White repackages three recordings previously issued on CRI LPs in the 1970s and 1980s. All three blend tape music with acoustic instrumentation and live electronics to achieve time-stretching effects. Why these were not made available again earlier remains a mystery, especially since the music of Morton Feldman and Giacinto Scelsi enjoyed a "revival" of sorts in avant-garde circles at the turn of the millennium. Like them, Roger Reynolds searched for spatialization, multiple chronologies, and a form of minimalism that focused on listening rather than formalism. The three 20-minute works included here reward multiple listens as they reveal their delights slowly. "...The Serpent-Snapping Eye" was composed in 1978 and recorded in 1984 -- it is the freshest piece in this collection. Performed by Edwin Harkins (trumpet), Cecil Lytle (piano), and Daryl Pratt (percussion), it mostly consists of a set of attitudes and interactions between the players and a multi-channel tape part. Its elongated movements charm and mesmerize, down to its fake finale (too comfortable to be true) and coda. "Ping" and "Traces" are from the late '60s and feature Reynolds (piano), Karen Reynolds (flute), Paul Chihara (percussion/harmonium), and Alan Johnson (live electronics) -- minus Roger Reynolds and Chihara and plus Yuji Takahashi (piano) and Lin Barron (cello) for the second piece. "Ping" is a stunning work pairing delicate sections made of elongated gestures focused on multiphonics (the flute, especially) and harsh outbursts of electronics. "Traces" is more subdued and thus less noticeable. It relies more on Takahashi's virtuosity. The liner notes couple the original release notes with Reynolds' thoughts in 2002.

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