Thursday, January 3, 2019

Recording: Gayle Young & Phil Melanson

Artist: Gayle Young & Phil Melanson

Song: [two excerpts]

Recorded at at Array Space (Musicworks at 40), November 15, 2018.

Gayle Young & Phil Melanson - [excerpt 1]

Gayle Young & Phil Melanson - [excerpt 2]

Though celebrating its fortieth anniversary, Musicworks Magazine's resolute focus on the here-and-now means there's not much time for nostalgia. Given that, I was glad that I was able to cajole my way into a small part in making sure that the occasion didn't go unmarked. After co-hosting some talkin' history back in September, I also helped curate the music for this fundraising event alongside Nick Storring (whose Riparian Acoustics is currently presenting plenty imaginative sounds).

One of the key ideas for this show was to match some performers from Musicworks' past with those who are just now making their marks. This set brought together Gayle Young (a former longtime editor of the magazine as well as sound-art pioneer and instrument inventor) with Phil Melanson, who provides the pulse to pop combo Bernice as well as many other (often quiet) improvised recombinations. Young not only brought her Alium to bow and scrape, but also a set of flat rocks, each with its pitch when struck painted on its side. Melanson borrowed several of those to place on his rotating drumhead. This turned out to be an inspired pairing between a pair of sonic itch-scratchers, sharing quiet sounds through string scratches and drum scratches. (Do note: there's a bit of hiss in this field recording, but I think it would sound just fine on one of the many Musicworks companion cassettes overseen by Gayle Young.)

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