Saturday, November 17, 2012

one hundred classic minimalism, electronic, ambient and drone recordings

- 3/4hadbeeneliminated - a year of the aural gauge operation - häpna - 2005 / oblivion - die schachtel - 2010

recordings from guitarist/double bassist stefano pilia, turntablist/sound assembler claudio rocchetti, sound architect valerio tricoli, and drummer tony arrabito.
dean roberts, talk talk and classic drone filtered through an alembic devise.


- john luther adams - in the white silence - new world records - 2003

"i want my music to resonate with the fullness of empty space, charged with a pristine atmosphere of stillness and expectancy" (j l adams, notes from the recording)
also worth noting : four thousand holes - cold blue music - 2011


- the aeolian string ensemble - lassithi / elysium - robot records - 1998 / eclipse - robot records - 2004

"in addition to the air harps and wind vanes as our sound generators the music itself was further processed by various manipulators. in the equipment inventory, apart from sundry signal processing devices, we also called upon a thurlby transient multiplier, an energy technology thermionic resonator, harmonic extractors, chaotic modulators, rotating speaker cabinets, and a radiance generator." notes from one of the recordings


- alio die & yannick dauby - descendre cinq lacs au travers d'une voilé - aqua - 1998
- alio die & zeit - raag drone theory - hic sunt leones - 2007
- alio die & aglaia - private history of the clouds - infraction - 2009

other worldly drones from stefano musso (and yannick dauby + zeit + aglaia) :

descendre cinq lacs au travers d'une voilé : stefano musso (sampler, textures, drone)
yannick dauby (electronics, effects, water treatments, tibetan singing bowls)

raag drone theory : stefano musso (psaltery, zither, drones and loops) and tommaso cimò (zither, bowed psaltery, shruti-box, samples) recorded at chiostro dell' annunziata.

some other recordings by stefano musso : khen introduce silence - hic sunt leones - 2003, alio die & werner durand - aqua planing - hic sunt leones - 2005, the flight of real image - faria records - 2006, alio die & saffron wood - corteggiando le messi - hic sunt leones - 2006, and aura seminalis - hic sunt leones - 2008, honeysuckle - hic sunt leones - 2011, mostly on his label hic sunt leones which has also released works by andrew chalk and ora.


- alva noto - xerrox vol.1 - raster-noton - 2007 / xerrox vol.2 - raster-noton - 2009
- alva noto, ryuichi sakamoto & ensemble modern - utp_  - raster-noton - 2008

xerrox series : all samples xerroxed by carsten nicolai
utp_ : "the concept of the arising piece named utp_ is derived from the rasterized structure of mannheim (build as an ideal city in the 17th century) and also paying reference to the musical history of the city."
notes to the releases


- oren ambarchi & johan berthling - my days are darker than your nights - häpna - 2003

guitar and harmonium, recorded by bj nilsen.


- amm - newfoundland - matchless recordings - 1993

featuring keith rowe, john tilbury and eddie prévost.

other amm related recordings : john tilbury & evan parker - two chapters and an epilogue, john tilbury & eddie prévost - discrete moments, amm - fine, amm - sounding music, amm - uncovered correspondence: a postcard from jaslo
(plus others found elsewhere on this page)


- louis andriessen - de tijd (time) - nonesuch - 1993

for female choir and large ensemble, text : st augustine's confessions, vol 11, chapter 11 (l).
"at the centre of de tijd stands augustine's fundamental question, 'what, then, is time". and so, transferred onto the musical plane, the work manipulates our perception of musical time by means of its structural organization and technical detail, and engages us by the poetry that these generate. ...throughout de tijd is the sound of bells, imbuing its ritual progress with a sense of the numinous." (musical times)


- ash ra tempel - ash ra tempel - ohr - 1971

debut album's line up : klaus schulze (drums, guitar, electronics), manuel göttsching (guitar, vocals, electronics), hartmut enke (bass), conny plank (engineer).


- jan bang - ...and poppies from kandahar - samadhisound - 2010

"a descendent of jon hassell’s “fourth world” concept, it sketches scenes of struggle and malice, in locales both primitive and urbane.   as a producer, bang stitches it together like a patchwork atlas and then makes the seams disappear: live recordings and studio constructions, old samples and new solos come together to form an exquisite whole."
notes to the release


- william barklow - voices of the loon - national audubon society - 1980

side b includes the recordings : chorus from a distant lake, tremolo duet, wail duet, border confrontation, wails with morning songbird chorus, tremolos while running, wails during a thunderstorm, coyotes calling with loons.

in addition to the calls of the loons, one hears the lovely sound of distant loons throughout, almost like echos (5 minutes into side b for example). the album stresses not to play this recording near waters occupied by breeding pairs.


- william basinski - the disintegration loops I-IV - 2062 - 2002-2003

slow, subtle, decaying movements of sound, "the music was dying" as mr basinski described the recordings. not unlike satie's orchestral music and his musique d'ameublement.  other classic recordings are variations: a movement in chrome primitive, shortwavemusic, silent night, melancholia, watermusic, the river, untitled with richard chartier, and variations for piano & tape.


- bass communion - ghosts on magnetic tape - headphone dust - 2004

created primarily from processing 78rpm records and piano sources.
aural equivalent of spirit photography.


- maurizio bianchi & nobu kasahara & hitoshi kojo - the epidemic symphony no. 9 - octpia - 2006

mail exchange collaboration, 2003 winter - 2005 winter.  winter is stressed.

also of interest : maurizio bianchi & land use - psychoneurose - manifold records - 2005, bactéria - taâlem - 2006, das platinzeitalter - incunabulum - 2007, hibernum - ee tapes - 2011.


- biosphere ‎- substrata - origo sound/biophon records - 1997/2011 (lp reissue) / shenzhou - touch - 2002 / autour de la lune - touch - 2004 / dropsonde - touch - 2005/2006

"shenzhou started with a loop. i bought debussy’s complete orchestral works looking for orchestral samples. the first loop became the first track, the second loop became the second track, etc… and the whole project was finished in just two weeks. a very simple approach: one track consists of just one loop plus effects. "

"while working on this project (autour de la lune) i bought a very good russian telescope. studying the moon with this telescope gave me the idea to make a soundtrack for ‘studies of the moon’, still inspired by jules verne though. "
text by geir jenssen (aka biosphere), from an interview with themilkfactory.co.uk


- david bowie - low (with brian eno) - rca victor - 1977 / "heroes" (w/ brian eno & robert fripp) - rca - 1977

ambient tracks with brian eno on side b of low (especially warszawa), and ambient tracks on side b of "heroes" with eno and robert fripp.

chopin's ghost is said to haunt the master bedroom of the château d'hérouville where much of low was recorded. "eno slept in the master bedroom and has since recalled on numerous occasions that he was woken in the early hours of the morning by a hand on his shoulder, but upon opening his eyes always found the room to be empty."
from thomas jerome seabrook's bowie in berlin: a new career in a new town, page 108.


- gavin bryars - the sinking of the titanic / jesus' blood never failed me yet - obscure - 1975

plus the other recordings of these 2 great works.  also from bryars : three viennese dancers - ecm - 1986, after the requiem - ecm - 1991, vita nova - ecm - 1994, farewell to philosophy - point - 1996.


- harold budd (with akira rabelais) - avalon sutra / as long as i can hold my breath - samadhisound - 2005

"...there could be no more fitting epitaph to budd's work than avalon sutra, which presents to the listener a suite of often brief, classically ambient pieces of astounding beauty and delicacy..."
samadhisound site


- burundi - musiques traditionnelles - ocora - 1988

recorded from 1967 to 1970 in ngozi, bujumbura, bukirasazi & kayanza (burundi).


- john cage - sixty-eight, quartets I-VIII (lucas vis) - hat art - 1995 / ryoanji - hat art - 1996

"the importance of variations in sound that are not readily discernible"
pierre menard


- wendy carlos - sonic seasonings - columbia - 1972

music, weather, bird calls, wolves, and environmental recordings that take the listener through the four seasons. the second half of summer is particularly stunning.
also the shining & a clockwork orange soundtracks


- andrew chalk - cresent - robot records - 1986/2000 / over the edges - streamline - 1999/2003 / goldfall - faraway press - 2006

"in the blurred mirror of the last hour,
gleaming beyond words, indecipherable
in the motionlessness of memory"
fragmented text from yves bonnefoy's dedham, seen from langham

or other indecipherable gleamings from mr. chalk (former member of mirror) : east of the sun, over the edges, fall in the wake of a flawless landscape, shadows of the album sky, the river that flows into sands i & ii, blue eyes of the march, vega, time of the hayfield, and the cable house.



- richard chartier & asmus tietchens - fabrication - die stadt - 2007


- luciano cilio - dell'universo assente - die schachtel - 2004

"a gifted musician, cilio plays guitar, piano, flute, bass and mandolin here, laying out graphic notation to help the other players achieve his concept of sound. described in the silver-on-white liner notes as an attempt to “return to sound, (to) hold it,” cilio realizes it to be an end in itself, not just a rhythmic or harmonic component. it’s not unlike fellow visionary italian composer giacinto scelsi, nor is his means of notation and indeterminacy far from american godfather morton feldman. this is no austere minimalist composition though; consider it an exquisite, gossamer veil rippling over the void, gorgeous even as it reveals the chilling blackness beneath."
from a review by tad abney



- coil - time machines - eskaton - 1998 / ans - threshold house - 2004

time machines is four tracks which are composed of a single tone, each tone represents a certain hallucinogenic chemical.
ans uses the ans synthesizer, a photoelectronic musical instrument created by russian engineer evgeny murzin from 1937 to 1957.


- jonathan coleclough - cake - siren records/robot records - 1998 / cake (alternate version) - siren records/robot records - 2002 / windlass - korm plastics - 1999

mr coleclough, along with mirror, is the master of contemporary drone. each sound is as precious, beautiful and unique as one of bentley's snowflakes.


- tony conrad - joan of arc - table of the elements - 2006

tony conrad, pump organ.
originally recorded as a soundtrack for the piero heliczer film of the same name, 1968.
also wonderful, his soundtrack to jack smith's flaming creatures from 1963, and moments from early minimalism volume one - table of the elements - 1997


- eric cordier - breizhiselad - erewhon - 2006
 
"in making 'breizhiselad' i have tried to rewrite some masterpieces of the traditional music of french brittany. apart from a few field recordings all the material on this record originates in extracts from two songs of the a side of a 10" 1960's reissue of a 78rpm."
notes from the release


- alvin curran - maritime rites - new world records - 2004

a series of environmental concerts for radio composed by alvin curran featuring the eastern seaboard of the united states as a musical source in collaboration with improvised musical performances by ten distinguished artists. particularly of interest is the track maritime rites.


- holger czukay - canaxis - privately released - 1969 / revisited records - 2006

"a few month after the foundation of can, holger czukay recorded his first solo album canaxis. the music has its origins in different parts of the world. it was arranged with the intuition of exploring and preserving the genuine character and beauty in an ambient context. here for the first time czukay explored the idea of 'sampling'".


- yannick dauby & thomas köner - une topographie sonore: col de vence (from zyklop) - mille plateaux - 2003

a lovely meeting of köner's electronic minimalism with dauby's field recordings, invites a new experience with each listen.


 - yannick dauby & christophe havard & hughes germain (as °sone) - passerelle - and/oar - 2008

"documented on this cd is a site-specific sound installation / performance by °sone, a project of yannick dauby, christophe havard & hughes germain. the only sounds used were from within the walls of the building where the event took place, channeled and recorded using large transducers and then mixed and broadcast back into the main space of the building"


- miles davis - get up with it - columbia records - 1970-1974

specifically the tracks he loved him madly & rated x. also the albums jack johnson, on the corner, and big fun (go ahead john).


- deathprod - deathprod boxset - rune grammofon - 2004 / 6-track - rune grammofon - 2006

the work of helge sten; four cds in the boxset document the period from 1991 to 2001, and 6-track : all remixes produced and engineered at audio virus lab.


- deceh - fundamental structure - the tapeworm - 2011

"a close study of the harmonic composition of a hammond organ and a sruti box with attention given to the organization of isolated frequencies and the effects of these vibrations on brain activity."
notes to the release

especially stunning is the track departure.


- stuart dempster - in the great abbey of clement vi - 1750 arch records - 1979

"dempster performing on trombones, didgeridoos, and plastic sewer pipes. Using the acoustics of the abbey as part of the processing, he creates vast minimalist atmospheres and huge walls of sound. He uses computers and high-tech mics and boards to enhance the process. " all music


- taylor deupree & christopher willits - listening garden - line - 2007

"developed as a sonic alteration of two quiet indoor/outdoor tea spaces installed at the yamaguchi center for arts and media in yamaguchi, japan... designed to heighten visitor's senses and alter the sonic space as they sat, read, or had quiet conversation amongst the trees"

also of interest, deupree's northern, sea last, weather and worn, snow (dusk, dawn), shoals, in a place of such graceful shapes (w/ marcus fischer), specification.fifteen (w/ richard chartier)
willits' plants and hearts and ocean fire (w/ ryuichi sakamoto)


- andrew deutsch - the sun - and/oar - 2005

"constructed by passing ocean waves (recorded at rye beach, hew hampshire), through various digital processing devices. the most articulate of these processors was a tone generator able to isolate and respond to specific frequencies present in the ocean waves. the concept behind the sun was to make a static music or a kind of music that just shimmered in place". (a deutsch)


- herbert distel - die reise - hat art - 1987 / la stazione - hat art - 1990

2 classic recordings from herbert distel, who studied briefly with krzysztof kieslowski in the mid 1980's.
die reise contains cicadas, birds, the human voices, guitar, african piano, and train recordings.
la stazione was made in milan's central station.


- tod dockstader - aerial #1-#3 - sub rosa - 2005/2006

"as a very young child, dockstader would spend hours listening to his radio set. at a time when the medium served as a home's main source of entertainment, listeners would often make reference to 'playing the radio,' imbuing it with the same properties as any musical instrument. it is this idea which lies at the center of the aerial project (this volume being the first in a proposed three-part series). his raw materials are the sounds inhabiting those regions between the stations - the audio wastelands. back in 1994, he embarked upon a series of nocturnal trawls - a quest for shortwave spirits. these, he found, emitted something which dockstader himself has described as "cosmic breathing." the process left him with 90 hours of potentially usable archive."
dusted reviews, spencer grady


- kevin drumm - imperial distortion - hospital productions - 2008 / imperial horizon - hospital productions - 2009


- marcel duchamp - musical erratum + in conversation - sub rosa - 2007

"written in 1913, the musical erratum for piano forms part of the sequence of notes and projects which led to duchamp's celebrated artwork, la mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même. la mariée… is also the sub-title of the 1913 piano work. abstract, elusive and even "inachievable" according to the artist, the musical erratum consists of two scores. in the first, notes are replaced by numbered keys, and virtuoso performance is discouraged in favour of novel mechanical instrumentation. the second offers a form of random composition, by which numbered balls are dropped into the moving wagons of a toy train. famously, duchamp described the whole as "a very useless performance, in any event." two versions are included on this CD, including a conventional (but non-virtuoso) performance on piano, and another on which spinning rotary discs brush the piano strings to produce extraordinary tones. "
notes to the release


- john duncan - phantom broadcast - allquestions - 2002

shortwave recordings.
"only shadows remain, taking on the aspect of bells, resonating into infinity, together with reverberations and apparent choruses that stretch into emptiness. in some sections it seems as if you're listening to the ghost of a choral composition, a complex construction cut off from our senses with only a reflection given to savor, which alternately thins out and becomes dense, almost like breath."
(daniela cascella, blow up)


- watazumi doso roshi (watazumido-shuso) - the mysterious sounds of the japanese bamboo flute - everest

classic recording by watazumi doso roshi on the unlacquered hocchiku. parts of this music where featured in tarkovsky's film the sacrifice.


- werner durand - the art of buzzing (excuse the delay vol. 1) - x-tract - 2004 / remnants from paradise - absurd - 2008


- max eastley - installation recordings - paradigm discs - 2010

"max eastley is one of the most prolific and revered sound artists of the past half-century or so, experimenting with the sound-making potential of chance, nature and machines since the late 1960s. during that time, in addition to collaborating with artists like brian eno and thomas köner, eastley has been a prolific constructor of sound installations both in galleries and out amongst the real-world dynamics of the natural environment. .... a double-disc retrospective that updates and expands upon the 1975 release new and rediscovered musical instruments (a split with frequent collaborator david toop on brian eno's obscure records), collecting two hours and thirty-five tracks of indoor and outdoor recordings of eastley's various sound sculptures, dating between 1973 and 2008."
boomkat


- lawrence english - kiri no oto - touch - 2008

"the japanese phrase 'kiri no oto' loosely translates to the 'sound of fog' or 'sound of mist'. in many ways it's a collection that meditates on the sense of displacement and distortion that occurs in environments which undergo extreme mists, snowstorms and sea sprays. in the same way that visual objects loose their perspective, form and shape in these environments, the sound components that make up kiri no oto are not quite as they first might appear. "
touch


- brian eno - discreet music - obscure - 1975 / ambient 1: music for airports - editions eg - 1978 / ambient 4: on land - editions eg - 1982 / apollo and atmospheres - e.g. records - 1983 / ambient 2: the pearl (w/ harold budd) - editions eg - 1984

along with john cage, erik satie and marcel duchamp, eno's classic recordings are the foundation for this list. eno's hospital experience of listening to 18th century harp music from his bed at a near inaudible level, mixed with the gentle sound of rain falling outside, is a wonderful way to think about what ambient music is and what kind of experience it can give a listener. for us, this story has always resonated with scelsi's epiphany in a hospital, where he played the same note over and over, which led to his mature compositions.
side b of discreet music is one of the most essential recordings in this list : three variations on the canon in d major by johann pachelbel, the beautiful cagean composition by eno arranged and conducted by gavin bryars. also essential is eno's music for airports with contributions by robert wyatt, rhett davies and conny plank.


- brian eno & robert fripp - (no pussyfooting) - island records - 1973 (2 cd version 2008) / evening star - e.g. records - 1975

the recording to have of (no pussyfooting) is the 2CD edition with reversed and half-speed version of these recordings.


- experimental audio research & thomas köner - the köner experiment - space age - 1997

electronics [rhythms & pulses] by andy mellwig & thomas köner,  treated guitar by kevin shields,  percussion & bowed cymbals by eddie prevost, saxophone, effects [wha wha, echoes] by kevin martin,  ems vcs3 & synthi a synthesizer, bagpipes, guitar, serge modular music system by sonic boom, mixed by thomas köner & andy mellwig, produced by porter ricks & thomas köner.

also beyond the pale - big cat records - 1996


- morton feldman - rothko chapel, why patterns? - new albion - 1991 / for samuel beckett - hat art - 1991 / for christian wolff - hat art - 1992 / neither - hat art - 1998

plus many other recordings.


- fennesz - venice - touch - 2004

"the fourth studio album by christian fennesz, finds electronic music at a crossroads between its early status as digital subculture, and the feeling that there has to be something more, an emotional quality that rises above noise and moves towards melody and rapture."
from the fennesz website


- ambrose field & john potter - being dufay - ecm - 2009

"though known more for his sacred works, dufay’s secular chansons find new life here in english electronic composer and performer ambrose field’s awe-inspiring soundscapes, with the hilliard ensemble’s john potter at their center. potter recorded a mere eight minutes of actual singing for an album just shy of fifty, and from this throated nucleus ambrose field has cultivated a lush molecular accompaniment."
ecm site


- jürg frey - weites land, tiefe zzeit: räume 1-8 (b-boim records) - 2001-2002

8 cds of electronic music, based on fieldrecordings, instrumental, stone - and metalplatesounds.
also nice are the compilation cds from edition wandelweiser records


- gas (wolfgang voigt) - nah und fern (gas, zauberberg, königsforst, and pop) - kompakt - 2008

4 albums released between 1996-2000


- paul giger - chartres - ecm - 1989

recorded at summer solstice 1988 inside the crypt and upper church of the cathedral of chartres.


- yannick dauby, john grzinich, murmer - lind, raud, aastaajad - invisible birds - 2012

john grzinich & murmer; we especially like their contribution to yannick dauby's otherworldly electronic drones on disc 2 of this release.

also worthy of the list by grzinich : intimations, equal and distant lines, insular regions,  the absurd evidence (w/ mnortham), stria, confluence, & gyre (w/ seth nehil)
and murmer :  husk (w/ jonathan coleclough), we share a shadow & specular reflection (liquid solid redux 2000-2010).


- bernhard günter - brown, blue, brown on blue (ror mark rothko) - trente oiseaux - 1999 / crossing the river (night music) - trente oiseaux - 2000 / time, dreaming itself - trente oiseaux - 2000

the trio of lush albums from bernhard günter


- hildur guðnadóttir - leyfðu ljósinu - touch - 2012

"as to be faithful to time and space - elements vital to the movement of sound - this album was recorded entirely live, with no post-tampering of the recording's sense of occasion."
notes to the release


 - the hafler trio - exactly as i say. a rapid learning method devised partly by the hafler trio - phonometrography - 2005/2006 (dvd edition) / exactly as i do. the revised handbook of essential practice by the hafler trio - important records - 2005 / exactly as i am. the complete course in speaking for all occassions by the hafler trio - important records - 2006

the sudden boom in hafler trio recordings from around 2002 to recently is one of the great bodies of work in music history, like cage's number pieces or feldman's late period. they give a pleasure not unlike one given from watching the great pickpocket sequences in bresson's great film or listening to gould's quiet singing heard underneath his recordings of j.s. bach.


- harmonia - musik von harmonia - brain - 1974

includes neu! guitarist michael rother, and the cluster duo of hans-joachim roedelius and dieter moebius.
the ambient tracks like sehr kosmisich, ohrwurn, & hausmusik.


- harmonia 76 w/ brian eno - tracks and traces reissue - sony/gronland - 1976/2009

classic 1976 recording of michael rother, dieter moebius, hans-joachim roedelius, & brian eno


- jon hassell - last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street - ecm - 2009

“'a continuous piece, almost symphonic, with a cinematic construction' and drifting 'clouds made out of many motifs'. core material is drawn from a session at studios la buissonne near avignon in april 2008, with detail added in los angeles in november and december. live recordings from courtrais, belgium and london, as well as a remix of a piece originally created for a wim wenders movie, are also integrated into the atmospheric, filmic flow, along with short samples snared throughout 2008."
ecm site


- jon hassell & brian eno - fourth world vol. 1: possible musics - eg editions - 1980

"fourth world" is a term used by trumpeter jon hassell to describe a style of music employing modern technological treatments and influenced by various cultures and eras.


- tim hecker - norberg - room40 - 2007

swedish radio recording, also the recordings : an imaginary country, apondalifa, and ravedeath.


- catherine christer hennix - the electric harpsichord - die schachtel - 2010

an excerpt from a 1976 concert and is a tribute to pandit pran nath.


- jean-luc hérelle - pastoral bells - sitelle - 1995

"hérelle traveled throughout france, spain, switzerland and italy recording herds of belled animals; sheep, goats, and cattle, and transformed those recordings into this wonderful album.  the combination of the natural sounds of the animals and the environment, including storms and wind and sea, and the human noise of the bells, jostled by the animals at various tempos, make for a perfect sonic combination."
leonard pierce


- paul horn - inside the taj mahal (inside) - epic - 1968 / inside the great pyramid - mushroom records - 1977


- john hudak - room with sky - spekk - 2004

"room with sky began as a recording of my speaking voice in my bedroom, which is very sunny on sunny days. my bedroom has bauhaus style casement windows with views in the southern direction (towards new york city), and the western direction (towards the hudson river and the palisades cliffs of new jersey on the opposite side of the river). the words that i spoke came directly out of my mouth in a stream-of-consciousness style, with the actual text having been lost through destructive editing within my computer."
notes to the release


- david hykes & the harmonic choir - hearing solar winds / à l'ecoute des vents - ocora - 1983

recorded by radio france on the nights of 6th and 7th of august 1982 at the cistercian monastery l'abbaye du thoronet (the abbey, also famous from the book by lucien hervé).


- giuseppe ielasi - gesine - häpna - 2005 / s/t - häpna - 2006

gesine
"made up of guitar and percussion in different forms, sometimes electronically treated, but in a very organic manner. drones, guitar techniques derived as much from folk as the experimental music field, and a calm, haunting atmosphere make up the basis for this beautiful album."
 s/t
"most complex work to date, both in regard to instrumentation and compositional form. a well-prepared decoction of dark cinema, wanderlust and experimental sound manipulating techniques."
notes from häpna site


- ryoji ikeda - op. - touch - 2002

"combines elongated dissonant notes that never resolve into comfortable harmony. sometimes these groupings build a note at a time and then dissipate, other times the players begin at the same time and fall off individually. frequently each combination is surrounded by silence, disconnected from the rest of the composition."
jeff seelbach / dustedmagazine


- ingenting kollektiva - fragments of night - invisible birds - 2012 / lost beyond telling - invisible birds - 2012

mysterious recordings with fragments of drones, early ecm-like melodies, whisperings from bergman's films and the beautiful and sometimes hardcore explorations of miles davis and teo macero.


- philip jeck - 7 - touch - 2004

hard to relate to "hauntology", for me it is jeckology.
texture, memories, forgotten melodies. passages here become as lush as chet baker's voice, then they are altered and obliterated by heavy abstractions. this recording especially or surf, stokesuite: live in liverpool, an ark for the listener, or jeck's song lullaby duel with janek schaefer from their album songs for europe.


- arsenije jovanović - galiola: works for radio. 1967-2000 - fo a rm / and/oar - 2008

relevant tracks for this survey; prophecy of the village kremna  & les vents du camargue

"when i was very young, i read a book based on the oral tradition of kremna and though i never returned to it again, the images live enduringly in my deepest memory, like a cryptic allegory or a dream that can't be forgotten.  that's the way these sagas and prophecies work.  dreams and myths have no boundaries - they develop from inside through secret operations.  maybe that's why the kremna prophecy has been an everlasting source for my imagination.
i dedicate prophecy of the village kremna to the great filmmaker, terrence malick, who used the composition in the soundtrack for his brilliant provocative film, the thin red line."
notes for prophecy of the village kremna

"some time ago, i made the decision to no longer use words to record my travels and instead to make 'sound-writings'.  that was not so difficult for me, since i never was one of those who tours foreign places just for the novelty of travel.  the expression of my eccentric personal pleasure shifted from verbal utterance to a sonic vocabulary and this acoustic practice changed not only my modus operandi, (which i knew would surely happen), but also my perception.  i started listening with a microphone in my hand, but also with a 'microphone' in my head (which has even more consequence).  freed of my notebook and camera, seemingly familiar places became quite new."
text excerpt for les vents du camargue



- basil kirchin - worlds within worlds - emi columbia - 1971 / worlds within worlds - island records - 1974


- komitas - voice of komitas vardapet - trad. crossroads - 1995

such a hauntingly lovely recording of komitas in paris in 1912, made more so by the sounds of the original acoustic cylinders. at a five star parisian restaurant they would pair this with bass communion's ghosts on magnetic tape or a tasty philip jeck.


- thomas köner - kaamos - mille plateaux - 1998

the track tabula smaragdina with jürgen reble has always remained a favourite because of its obliteration of time through melody and memory.

other possibilities : teimo, permafrost, aubrite, unerfroschtes gebiet, daikan, zyklop and nukk, plus the kontakt der jünglinge series with asmus titchens.


- koukiji kougezan - the live [11th] final hyakusenmansyuuraku - studio nirvana - 2002

"all are accompanied by rain, from soft patter to heavy downpour. at times the rain is so loud it completely drowns out the soft playing of the instruments, essentially being an instrument itself -- and as a warning to those who would say otherwise, says suzuki: 'i'll tear out the ears of whoever says this is just rain.'" (aquarius records)


- christina kubisch - armonica - semishigure - 2005

"kubisch's newest work is created by using the glass harmonica, an instrument from the 18th century, which isn't in use anymore. the glass harmonica, also known as armonica, was invented by benjamin franklin in 1763."
notes to the release


- alan lamb - primal image - dorobo - 1995 / night passage & night passage demixed - dorobo - 1998

2 albums containing aeolian (instrument that is played by the wind) recordings from the faraway wind organ (a half-mile section of abandoned telegraph wires located in the far outback of western australia) by alan lamb. recorded in the late 1980s, primal image is "a series of segments averaging several minutes each, with transitional overdubs at the seams, and with heavy use of eq for harmonic balance and noise reduction". night passage was recorded and edited from 1983-1997. the last track on night passage; meditation on spring8, was recorded in harima japan on a constructed wind organ played with a bamboo bow.
also of interest are sarah hopkins & alan lamb's sky song with cello, voice and telegraph wires, and jonathan coleclough's track halant from halant / heat / beech, featuring wire recordings by alan lamb.
other wire recordings : paul panhuysen's partitas for long strings, alastair galbraith and matt de gennaro's wire recordings, alvin lucier's music on a long thin wire, john grzinich's wire recordings, the aeolian string ensemble, ellen fullman recordings, and some others.


- jean-françois laporte - soundmatters - 23five - 2007

five pieces that each explores the physical nature of sound


- brian lavelle - magdalena - diophantine discs - 2010

hard to choose something from the large list of works by brian lavelle, 'i have not come home' certainly takes your breath away


- lethe - catastrophe point #7 & #8 - invisible birds - 2010

the catastrophe point series by lethe is one of the most stunning to our ears, and the meaning of the word lethe (a river in hades, the water of which produced, in those who drank it, forgetfullnes of the past. hence, the 'waters of oblivion', or forgetfullness of the past), when understood, greatly changes your relationship to these recordings, as do multiple listens and listening environments.


- alvin lucier - music on a long thin wire - lovely music, ltd. - 1980 / i am sitting in a room (for voice and tape) - lovely music, ltd. - 1981

"music on a long thin wire is constructed as follows: the wire is extended across a large room, clamped to tables at both ends. the ends of the wire are connected to the loudspeaker terminals of a power amplifier placed under one of the tables. a sine wave oscillator is connected to the amplifier. a magnet straddles the wire at one end. wooden bridges are inserted under the wire at both ends to which contact microphones are imbedded, routed to a stereo sound system. the microphones pick up the vibrations that the wire imparts to the bridges and are sent through the playback system. by varying the frequency and loudness of the oscillator, a rich variety of slides, frequency shifts, audible beats and other sonic phenomena may be produced."
alvin lucier

i am sitting in a room, re-recording resonances, conceived in 1969, especially relevant to this list once it gets into heavy abstraction (20 minutes in and after).


 - david lynch and alan r. splet - eraserhead original soundtrack recording - sacred bones records - 2012 (lp)

original recordings from 1977


- machinefabriek & aaron martin - cello recycling | cello drowning - type records - 2007

"zuydervelt took cello improvisations from aaron martin and built them into the slow-burning post-ambient monster that is cello recycling .... then ....  the original piece accompanied by aaron martin’s take on rutger’s work, where he ‘drowns’ the original piece in a bath of murky water taking into submerged directions it has never before drifted."
notes from the label


- main - hydra-calm - situation two - 1992

two eps and a bonus track from british guitarists robert hampson and scott dowson, former members of loop.


- ingram marshall - fog tropes, gradual requiem, gambuh 1 - new albion - 1984

"to me it is just about fog, and being lost in the fog. the brass players should sound as if they were off in a raft floating in the middle of a mist-enshrouded bay."
ingram marshall on fog tropes


- the master musicians of jajouka - brian jones presents the pipes of pan at joujouka - rolling stones records - 1971/1995 / the master musicians of jajouka featuring bachir attar: apocalypse across the sky - axiom / island records - 1992

very strange stereo phasing, echos, and other effects on this recording added by brian jones


- stephan mathieu - sad mac studies - en/of/schwebung - 2001/2012 / on tape - häpna - 2004 / radioland - die schachtel - 2008

drones "based on digital and analog processing techniques.... work has been compared to the landscape paintings of caspar david friedrich, the work of painters mark rothko, barnett newman and ellsworth kelly."

other favourites are : the sad machidden name (w/ janek schaefer, recorded on location at manor farmhouse, child okeford in the summer of 2005 using site recordings, piano, clarinet, cello, flute, trumpet, accordion, sitar, singing bowls, bells, voices, games and records found in the house), quien era aquella, the key to the kingdomtranscriptions (w/ taylor deupree), remain, a static place, to describe george washington bridge, & radioland (panorámica) (w/ caro mikalef).



- mirror - eye of the storm - streamline - 1999 / nightwalkers - robot records - 2000/2005 / solaris - idea - 2002 / die spiegelmanufaktur - die stadt - 2002/2003 / viking burial for a french car - plinkity plonk records - 2005

from one of the classic periods in drone music (the nineties to the mid 2000s), the recordings of mirror (along with those of andew chalk, jonathan coleclough, the hafler trio, and thomas köner), have become the most rewarding over the years (after numerous, numerous listens). like watching a bresson film over and over and over, the details of these recordings drive you to the same obsessions in re-experiencing the moments of beauty.


- pandit pran nath - ragas of morning & night - gramavision in collection - 1991 / midnight - just dreams - 2002


- phill niblock - touch works, for hurdy gurdy and voice - touch - 2000 / touch food - touch - 2003
 

- bj nilsen - the short night - touch - 2007


- bj nilsen & stilluppsteypa - víkinga brennivín & drykkjuvísur ohljódanna - helen scarsdale agency - 2005/2006 / space finale - editions mego - 2010

"populated by obliterated field recordings, vintage synth timbres, archaic, blipping tones and above all, acre after acre of sustaining, continuous sound". boomkat

also the recordings big shadow montana on helen scardsdale (2005, 2006, 2011) and second childhood - quecksilber - 2007 with hildur guðdnadóttir


- hermann nitsch - harmoniumwerk volumes 1, 2, 3, 4 - cortical foundation - 2000

"in 1968, i got a harmonium as a wedding present from my wife. from then on, i sat at the harmonium and played almost exclusively long notes that never wanted to end. i tried to listen into the infinite structure of the stars, into the unimaginable spaces searching for sound. the joy of beautiful colors, of (almost intoxicating) combinations of sound was most important but at the same time it was carried by the almost presumptuous task to conjure, to sing of, and measure the extent of cosmic space. the course of the stars were to be put to sound."
hermann nitsch


- luigi nono - prometeo (ingo metzmacher) - emi classics - 1995

also the recording by ensemble recherche on col legno


- michael northam - suhina - drone records - 2009

"the sound of the wind moving through the trees. instead of doing field recordings of wind northam tried to capture this feeling & the essence of this process through instrumental recordings from indonesian flute & keyboard. nature phenomena seen as the true manifestation of the Unknown."
notes from label website


- nurse with wound - salt marie celeste - united dairies - 2003

recorded and mixed at the watertower, in preston with colin potter. this recording delves deep into the world explored by gavin bryars and his composition the sinking of the titanic, a meditation on chaos, beauty, decay, death, memories, horror, darkness and the sublime.


- dj olive - buoy / sleep / triage - room40 - 2004-2008

also wonderful is his track monday on the v/a comp release 10 from room40.


- pauline oliveros, stuart demster, panaiotis - deep listening - new albion - 1989 / - pauline oliveros, stuart demster, panaiotis, thomasa eckert, william o. smith - the ready made boomerang - new albion - 1991

a strong memory of driving through san francisco's presidio late one night with this recording at full volume, the many bunkers there and across the bay in marin all projecting their resonances straight into the car, like luigi nono and bruno maderna's spatial sound projection in prometeo.


- yui onodera - suisei - and/oar - 2007

composed from environmental sound and pump organ.


- jim o'rourke - disengage - staalplaat, korm plastics - 1992

huge influence on contemporary electronic/drone music, the subtly and perfection of mr. o'rourke's manipulations of voice, bass, trombone, cello, shortwave electronics makes your head spin. this 2 cd set includes mere and a young person's guide to drowning.


- hans otte - das buch der klänge / the book of sounds, 48 pieces for solo piano (hans otte on piano) - 1984 / das buch der klänge (herbert henck on piano) - ecm - 1999

" herbert henck's campaign for recognition for undervalued 20th century composers continues with this salute to the german composer hans otte. henck here celebrates otte's book of sounds as 'one of the most remarkable creations in contemporary piano music, a work which has lost none of its beauty, innocence and power in the 20 years since it was written'. essentially contemplative, it 'lets sounds be sounds' as john cage said, and gives them room to breathe. withdrawal, transparency and austerity are the hallmarks of this music."
ecm site


- adam pacione - sisyphus - elevator bath - 2005 / from stills to motion - infraction - 2007

"organic and fluid collection(s) of haunting ambiance, brimming with warmth and emotion. "
from elevator bath


 - charlemagne palestine - strumming music - new tone records - 1974/1995 (reissued as strumming music: for piano, harpsichord and string ensemble - sub rosa - 2010) / schlingen - blängen - new world records - 1998 / music for big ears - staalplaat - 2001

for the writers of this website, when discovering minimalist music, the four heavies very quickly became : la monte young, charlemagne palestine, phill niblock and eliane radigue. these three recordings are good examples of his range and use of instrumentation, from piano to organ to carillon, also his love of drink and stuffed critters.


- charlemagne palestine, terry jennings, tony conrad, robert feldman, rhys chatham - sharing a sonority (golden 4) - alga marghen - 2008

recordings from 1967 & 1974


- evan parker & lawrence casserley - solar wind - touch - 1997


- arvo pärt - tabula rosa - ecm - 1984


- roger s. payne - songs of the humpback whale - capitol records - 1970 / deep voices: the second whale record - capitol records - 1977

"when i think of what grand arias, cantatas, and recitatives have filled the sea, echoing through its vast vaults, only to disappear and be lost forever, i am keenly grateful for those included here, made by sound-pioneer frank watlington, who captured what i consider to be the greatest of all humpback whale performances, 'solo whale'. it was recorded at a depth of 1500 feet using an extraordinary array of deep-water microphones that were part of a cold-water experiment by the us navy, costing tens of millions of dollars, and now claimed by the sea. that project will never be repeated. and such songs may never be heard again."
dr. roger payne


- krzysztof penderecki - matrix 5 - emi - 1994


- steve peters - here*ings: a sonic geohistory - la alameda press / pianíssimo - 1991


- stefano pilia - action silence prayer - die schachtel - 2007


- popol vuh - werner herzog soundtracks - spv - 2011



- eddie prévost & organum - flayed / crux - matchless recordings - 1987/1995

2 essential recordings. crux features andrew chalk on bowed gong, david jackman on drone flute and bowed piano, dinah jane rowe on drone flute, and stephen stapleton on chair.

other organum releases relevant to this list : submission - united diaries/complacency - 1988/1994 (specifically the track renunciate), ikon - robot records/siren records - 1987/2001, david jackman - sol mara - robot records / die stadt - 1989/1999, sphyx - aeroplane/robot records - 1994/2002 (specifically the track aeo), die hennen zähne - die stadt - 2005 (specifically the track die kralle), sanctus - robot records - 2006, omega - die stadt - 2007, sorow - siren records - 2010
these recordings by organum feature david jackman, andrew chalk, jim o'rourke, dinah jane rowe, eddie prévost, christophe heemann and stephen stapleton.

- folke rabe - what?? - important records - 2012

"two productions from the electronic studio of the swedish radio, stockholm. originally created in 1967. the second track is the same as the first, but played at half-speed, which is in effect one octave lower. the first track was originally released in 1970 on LP by wergo under the name 'was??'."
2012 reissue on important


- akira rabelais - spellewauerynsherde - samadhisound - 2004

"spellewauerynsherde: spell. wavering. shard. spell as in speaking, incantation, a digitally constructed matrix of words and voices, summoning up a strange, distant past. wavering: the shivering of those voices as they dissolve and recombine in rabelais' rich filtering systems, turning into pulsating, frequency rich drones. shard: fragments, of voices, of ideas, of memories, of the past, brought back to life again.
spellewauerynsherde is built up from found sounds, field recordings of traditional icelandic accapella lament songs recorded in the late 1960s or early 1970s on ampex tapes and then forgotten about. after discovering the neglected tapes, cleaning them up and digitizing them for a library, rabelais became fascinated with the heartbreaking sadness of the voices and began to think of them as source material for a series of compositions."
notes from label site


- eliane radigue - trilogie de la mort - experimental intermedia - 1998 / jetsun mila - lovely music, ltd. - 2003

"... going beyond death in this life, beyond the dichotomy of life and death, and so to become a witness to life itself"
... trilogy on death, thomas merton, taken from notes to the release to trilogy de la mort


- dean roberts - and the black moths play the grand cinema - ritornell/staubgold - 1999/2004

lovely recording with dean roberts on guitars, prepared guitars, vocals, piano, computer, processing, electronics, viola, organ, hi-hats. tim barnes on percussion, harmonium, computers, processing, o'tonics. charles curtis on cello & matt valentine on bass.


- jean-claude roché - oiseaux du vénézuéla (including some potoos) - edwards records - 1973

one truly strange bird recording.


- steve roden / in be tween noise - the radio - sonoris - 1999

"i used the following radio transmission sounds : 1.5 seconds of choral music under static, 5 seconds of short-wave radio static captured on cassette in japan 1994, 8 seconds of talking with random fading in and out, 8 seconds of talking under static with random fading in and out, 2 seconds of birds beneath static" notes to the release


- mathieu ruhlmann & celer - mesoscaphe - spekk - 2008

"a sound work dedicated to the 1969 voyage of the ben franklin, the naturally-propelled submarine created to explore the currents of the gulf stream, and the nature of the sea. half of the sound is composed of original pieces of music, meant to symbolize a deepening human element culled from memory, from strings, pianos, and electronics. the other half of the sound is composed of natural field recordings, of the ben franklin itself, as well as the surrounding oceans and habitats, with the intention of providing realism through sound, just as if it were an actual document from the voyage, of the surrounding ocean."
notes from the artists


- sacred flute music of new guinea - quartz publications - 1977

recorded in 1976 in the villages of bak hamlet, bo'da, awar and damaindeh-bau in papua new guinea. another very strange recording from toop's quartz publications.


- erik satie - entracte · musique d'ameublement · sonnerie pour reveiller le roi des singes · vexations - erato - 1981/ satie: the early piano works including the 3 gymnopédies (reinbert de leeuw) - philips - 1998

other great recordings : aldo ciccolini, yuji takahashi, pascal rogé, teodoro anzellotti, steffen schleiermacher, pierre laniau (on guitar), ulrich gumpert, and tony hymas. these two recordings show satie as the grandfather of the music on this list.


- somei satoh - sun/moon - new albion - 1994


- giacinto scelsi - œuvre intégrale pour chœr et orchestre symphonique - accord - 1988/1989/1990 / natura renovatur - ecm - 2006


- klaus schulze - irrlicht - revisited records- 1972 / cyborg - revisited records - 1973

irrlicht : includes a broken and modified electric organ, a recording of a classical orchestra rehearsal played backward, and a damaged amplifier to filter and alter sounds that he mixed on tape into a three-movement symphony
cyborg : further organ drone experiments


- stefano scodanibbio - voyage that never ends - new albion - 1998

"i haven't heard better double bass playing than scodanibbio's. i was just amazed..... his performance was absolutely magic."
john cage


- colin andrew sheffield - first thus - elevator bath - 2005 / signatures - invisible birds - 2009

slow melodies going nowhere and everywhere.


- sigtryggur berg sigmarsson - ship - trente oiseaux - 2001

from bernhard günter's seminal trente oiseaux label. slowly shifting melodic drones that arrive beautifully at nothingness, as günter said "the atmosphere of his work does indeed strongly remind me of my visit to iceland, and its wonderful topography of absence."


- richard skelton (a broken consort) - the shape leaves - sustain-release - 2006 / box of birch - 2007

plus numerous other recordings under his own name plus carousell, clouwbeck, harlassen, heidika, riftmusic and *ar with autumn richardson


- michael snow - la région centrale - 1971

the only sound from a film included on the list (except the lynch + tati osts are pretty much from the films)


- stars of the lid - the tired sounds of stars of the lid - kranky - 2001

includes a sound palette of strings, horns, piano, guitars and field recordings



- ernstalbrecht stiebler - three in one - hat art - 1994 / ...im klang... - hat art - 1998

"...im klang... consisting of a single sound organized isorhythmically into 24 lines which changes slowly and continuously in the rhythm of the line duration of approximately one minute, oscillates between renewal and remembrance... the sound does not grab the listener, rather the contrary, keeps the listener at an emotional distance that nevertheless allows an approach to this basically distant sound through listening into it"
notes to the release by stiebler


- such (john tilbury, yoshikazu iwamoto & eddie prévost) - the issue at hand - matchless - 1999

piano, shakuhachi, and percussion. the liner notes by frank denyer are titled "harmony in the chaos - chaos in the harmony", which is a fine way of putting into words this release.


- david sylvian - approaching silence - venture records, virgin - 1999

three compositions (the beekeeper’s apprentice, epiphany, approaching silence) created for 2 gallery installations. personnel includes david sylvian (instruments, sound, lights), robert fripp (effects), and frank perry (noan bells, bowed gong, finger bells).

other relevant sylvian recordings would be : david sylvian & holger czukay - plight & premonition, david sylvian & holger czukay - flux + mutability, camphor (instrument collection with the tracks : answered prayers, praise [pratah smarami], wave), blemish, the good son vs. the only daughter, when loud weather buffeted naoshima, manafon, and died in the wool | manafon variations.

other noteworthy ambient tracks : words with the shaman pt 1, ancient (w/ holger czukay and jon hassell) from alchemy: an index of possibilities, darkest dreaming from dead bees on a cake, world citizen (i won't be disappointed) with ryuichi sakamoto from sleepwalkers, and the nine horses recordings.


- taku sugimoto - opposite - hat hut records - 1998

"opposite sounds like an attempt to reproduce on cd the kind of preternatural calm which descends on visitors to the zen temples and public gardens which are hidden away down the back streets and side alleys of japan’s teeming urban centres."
tony herrington 


- sunn o))) & boris - altar - southern lord/inoxia records - 2006
- sunn o))) - monoliths & dimensions - southern lord - 2009


- akio suzuki - odds and ends - hören - 2002

an archival collection including recordings made from 1975 to 2001.


- tangerine dream - zeit - ohr - 1972

"zeit, which means 'time', was based on the philosophy that time was in fact motionless and only existed in our own minds." paul russell, notes for the reissue



- andrey tarkovsky (vyacheslav ovchinnikov, eduard artemyev) - ivanovo detstvo vol. 1 / andrey rublyov vol. 2 / solaris vol. 3 / zerkalo, stalker vol. 4 - toei music - 1995

the essential four soundtracks to tarkovsky's films, important partly because they document tarkovsky's constant innovations in sound design, and partly because they are such amazing cds to listen to.


- jacques tati - jacques tati - auvidis - 1995

a lovely recording that combines field recordings with bits of dialogue (people and animals), follies, fragments from movies, nonsense and many strange tunes. quite a different experience than watching the films.


- james tenney - postal pieces - new world records - 2004 / old school james tenney (zeitkratzer) - zeitkratzer records - 2010

postal pieces contains 11 drone and minimalist classics from 1965 to 1971. "each card contains a complete if minimally stated work to be performed by instrumentalists. these pieces elucidate to a large degree some of tenney's bedrock compositional ideas. each is a kind of meditation on acoustics, form, or hyper-attention to a single performance gesture." (notes to the release).

3 more from 1988, 1976 & 1971 on the old school release : "epic swells. like an ocean. a harmonic ocean, seething with clusters of sound that emerge, crest and diminish in a hypnotic, lulling motion. tenney revisited and re-imagined by zeitkratzer" (from collapseboard.com)


- troum - aiws - transgredient records - 2007

troum is the old german word for "dream".

"everything recorded through the years 2002-2005 on analog 4 & 8 track or direct to dat. no computer, sampler or synths used.  composed with: sufi-songs & old vinyl-crackles, acoustic & e-guitars, e-bow, e-bass, voice & whispering, accordion & flute."
notes to the release

the 4th track per sonum (latin for through sound) is truly stunning, as is the track pandere from maeror tri's (with martin gitschel, stefan knappe from troum) album the beauty of sadness.


- frances-marie uitti - uitti 2 bows - bvhaast - 1995

stunning solo cd from uitti, who invented the technique of playing with two bows in the right hand.

"giacinto scelsi was the first to hear the two bows in 1976. he was so enthusiastic that he transcribed sauh, and wrote il funerale di carlo magno in 1979."
notes to the release by uitti


- [the user] - abandon - asphodel - 2003

"[the user] plays montreal's grain elevator #5, a quarter of a mile long and over twenty storeys high... [the user] has transformed silo #5 into a musical instrument by installing microphones and loudspeakers inside four of the elevator's empty grain storage chambers, making them accessible to outside world"
notes to the release


- mihaly vig/béla tarr - fílmzenék tarr béla filmjeihez - 1g records - 2001

like the tati disc, a wonderful combination of drones, dialogue, odd melodies, music and sounds from tarr's classics sátántangó and werckmeister harmóniák.


- yoshi wada - earth horns with electronic drone - edition omega point - 2009

reissue of wada's 1974 performance.  electronics by liz phillips, pipehorns constructed by, composed by, and recorded by yoshi wada,  and also played by barbara stewart, garrett list, jim burton.  the cd is an excerpt, lp complete.


- scott walker - the drift - 4ad - 2006

these recordings came straight out of the devil, like fire from yves klein's blow torch.


- chris watson - stepping into the dark - touch - 1996 / outside the circle of fire - touch - 1998 / el tren fantasma (cd + lp) - touch - 2011


- anton webern - webern: complete works opp 1-31 (pierre boulez) - sony - 1991

the complete works of anton webern from 1908-1943. webern's austerity in these works is overwhelming, it is not surprising cage and feldman became close friends after a webern concert.

- henry wolff & nancy hennings - tibetan bells - island records - 1972 / tibetan bells ii - celestial harmonies - 1978

tibetan bells, gongs, and singing bowls. the beauty and intensity of these recordings is quite overwhelming, especially from the roof of the world you can see forever.


- la monte young - the well tuned piano 81 X 25 6:17:50 - 11:18:59 pm nyc - gramavision - 1987 / the second dream of the high tension line stepdown transformer from the four dreams of china - gramavision - 1991

the most rewarding of all of the classical minimalist compositions; la monte young's classic 5 hour the well tuned piano, sitting comfortable amongst its long form friends : j.s. bach's well-tempered clavier, béla tarr's sátántangó, michael snow's la région centrale, robert musil's the man without qualities, marcel proust's in search of lost time, and r.w. fassbinder's berlin alexanderplatz.

the second dream of the high tension line stepdown transformer from the four dreams of china : 8 trumpets with harmon mutes.
"the very first sound that i recall hearing was the sound of the wind blowing through the chinks in the log cabin in idaho where i was born, and i've always considered this among my most important early experiences. it was awe-inspiring and very beautiful and mysterious. since i couldn't see it and didn't know what it was, i questioned my mother about it for long hours"
notes to the release by la monte young.


- :zoviet-france: - shouting at the ground - charm - 1990

specifically the track shamany enfluence, also the track daisy gun from ambient 4: isolationism.


- v/a (david lewiston) - tibetan buddhism: tantras of gyütö: mahakala - nonesuch - 1973 / tibetan buddhism: tantras of gyütö: sangwa düpa - nonesuch - 1975/1988 / tibetan buddhism: the ritual orechestra and chants - nonesuch - 1976

3 classics of drone from nonesuch records' explorer series produced by david lewiston. apocalyptic recordings!

- v/a  (georges luneau, recorded) - musique sacrée tibétaine - ocora - 1973

side a : mani-ridu (cérémonie de bienvenue / procession et "rol-'cham") is truly hallucinatory, surreal, bizarre and apocalyptic.

also of interest : john levy - tibetan buddhist rites from the monasteries of bhutan volume 1 - sub rosa - 2005


- v/a - anthology of world music: the music of tibetan buddhism - rounder records - 1999

the unesco collection, originally recorded in may & june 1961


- v/a - bells of russian-orthodox churches - christophorus - 1999

if one starts making of list of all the great instruments heard in drone music, the bell comes to mind very quickly, and thinking of all the great bell recordings (from thomas köner to frank perry) this recording certainly stands out, as does tarkovsky's andrey rublev film and soundtrack, with the long period devoted to the making of the bell.


- v/a - cage part scelsi - annum per annum - new albion records - 1995

six organ works by these  three composers. "all three have found ways to breathe life into the 'monster which never breathes' (stravinsky). perhaps the breaths it takes are simply very long and deep" notes for the release


- v/a - the exorcist ost - warner brothers - 1974 / the shining ost - warner brothers - 1980

2 great gatherings of heavy drone/minimalist 20th century classical works, including compositions by jack nitzsche, penderecki, webern, and george crumb & wendy carlos/rachel elkind, györgy ligeti, béla bartok, and penderecki. a couple others would include : the thin red line, and shutter island.


- v/a - spire - organ works past, present & future - touch - 2003 / spire - live in geneva cathedral st. pierre - touch - 2005 / spire live - fundamentalis - touch - 2008

a distillation of these lists ******

i started this drone list about a year ago and have not been able to finish it, so i post it now somewhat in an unfinished form... most likely over the next year i will add to it

6 comments:

bugs bunny said...

thank you so much for this post. I've been listening to drone for a couple years and have heard a few of these records but am unfamiliar with most, and now have a great deal of music to look forward to.

the art of memory said...

thanks bugs!

grasprelease said...

Beautiful. The considerable extra trouble you took to post all these album covers is really a boon; there's a cumulative effect of seeing all these, one right after another, virtually all of which I've seen and even handled before, but never in a stream. It's has the effect of a eulogy.

To anyone who's not heard it, I'd add the James Tenney FORMS release (HatHut, 2cd, ~2004) to your Tenney recommendations, esp. compelling in the drone/harmonic-ecstatic department. Such wonderful music, and I enjoy the couplings by the other composers as well.

Do you know the Watazumido from vinyl or compact disc? I was doing a little searching for a CD edition of that recording, but I ran across more than a few comments about the horrible sound on the "Legacy International" edition, which apparently is a transfer/mastering problem. Any suggestions would be helpful, even if they are second-hand accounts. A friend gave me a tape once but I wore it out.

the art of memory said...

hi grasprelease.
thanks! had fun scanning/collecting the images.

those Tenney pieces are nice. I wanted to add more from him but got too burnt out, I will probably add more stuff over the next few months (added some today).

I got that Watazumido on LP, was not too much $ on ebay I think, or discogs, the cover was scuffed so not to pricey. I digitized it if you want it. used it in the ingenting recordings....

John said...

Great list, thanks for posting it. I have days of listening ahead of me!

the art of memory said...

thanks!