Philip Perkins

Virgo Ramayana and Other Works for Radio

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An excellent set on cassette tape of four works, each rich in content and original in concept. "Virgo Ramayana" (Perkins was born under the sign of Virgo) is a 23 minute journey of mysterious ambience and soulfullness with sounds recorded in Indonesia - beautifully mixed with aural textures blending seamlessly as in a dream, and at other times modulating each other with hidden messages. A great performance realization of John Cage's "Radio Music" (1956) follows. The 6-minute edit called "Remotitude" comes next, a live electronic work realized at the Berkeley KPFA studios, with sounds difficult to describe in words - like you've tuned in on a broadcast from an alien world. Side B contains the 45 minute piece "Say Again," a live radio work with a vocalist (Bonnie Barnett), computer synthesist (Tim Perkis), percussionist/guitarist (Scott Fraser), and Perkins mixing radios, signal and MIDI processes, sampler, tapes and playing electric bass. Beginning with an odd story about a woman from California offering US herbal tea to some Swiss farmers, the piece moves, modulates and carries you along in the moment-to-moment mental flow of this ensemble. Highly recommended for its healthy avant-gardism.