Tony Conrad's incalculable influence on popular music began quietly in the avant-garde underground of early-1960s New York when he fostered both John Cale's and Lou Reed's interest in droning, the redefinition of tone intervals, and the exploration of the silent spaces between notes. Reed and Cale of course started the Velvet Underground, and had Conrad's impact stopped there, he could have called it a career. But thankfully he did not, and on JOAN OF ARC, his eighth record--and seventh since his mid '90s comeback--he continues to explore the same sonic territory he has been for years: gorgeous and spare ambient drones that simultaneously lull and haunt the listener. The one hour-long track on JOAN OF ARC features a bowed cello and oscillators in a constant shift of harmony, unison, and dissonance. Lovely.