Philip Corner

On Tape from the Judson Days

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The American avant-garde composer created and exceptional work in the late '60s, entitled Metal Meditations, which used amplified steel objects to create deep resonating tones resulting in a minimal avant-garde music that was profoundly affecting. By comparison, On Tape From the Judson Days is a little disappointing, mainly because the prospect of a collection of tape music and electronic compositions by this highly inventive composer promises to be certainly interesting if not astounding. Not to say that this isn't a curious and considerably vital contribution to late-'60s American avant-garde music -- many of the sketches and studies herein were never intended as more than home experiments. Hence, the recording is faltered by flawed fidelity as one could expect 30 years of depletion on already low fidelity master tapes. With an open ear, however, the primitive tape works are excellent examples of an experimental music scene dedicated to new approaches to sonic arts, and, like La Monte Young, Tony Conrad and David Behrman, Philip Corner is an experimental composer whose '60s work is certainly worthy of rediscovery.