Jack Smith

Silent Shadows on Cinemaroc Island: 1962-1964, Vol. 2

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This is the second volume compiled from minimalist composer Tony Conrad's Jack Smith tape archives. Smith was the film-maker/proto-performance artist who single-handedly gave birth to a whole generation of New York underground theater, including Robert Wilson, Richard Foreman, Charles Ludlam and the Wooster Group. In the early '60s, Smith was at the height of his considerable powers, creating a self-sustaining "exotic" aesthetic out of second-hand Hollywood fantasies, inspired by his lifelong muze, the Dominican-born actress Maria Montez, star of COBRA WOMAN and ALI BABA AND THE 40 THIEVES.

As on the previous LES EVENING GOWNS DAMNEES, the opening track is a sound collage taken from Conrad's collaborative soundtrack to Smith's infamous film FLAMING CREATURES. The impromptu readings and routines which follow are somewhat more nuanced than the "overstimulated" hysterics characteristic of the first volume. The echoing drones and sound effects provided by Conrad and John Cale on the title track nicely complement Smith's comic, meandering drawl. You might even call it finished.

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