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August 08, 1972 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1972-08-08

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Tuesday, August S, 1972

records
Unusual music for eclectic listeners

By DONALD SOSIN
Daily Prizewinning Critic
Walter Carlos; Music for A CLOCK-
WORK ORANGE Columbia (KC 314$0)
WALTER CARLOS: SONIC SEA-
SONINGS Columbia (KG 31234)
Clockwork fans take note: this
is not the soundtrack of the
film. That's on Warner Bros.
(BS 2573). What it is, is all the
music that Carlos originally
wrote and arranged for the film.
So, for one, it's all synthesized.
For two, cuts that are excerpted
on the soundtrack run their
whole tedious length h e r e.
"Tifmesteps" is expanded to its
full 13:50, wasting most of the
first side. That's.. followed_ by
the March (Beethoven's Ninth,
fourth movement, abridged) as
it is on the soundtrack. Then

there's the title music, the
theme, William Tell, and Carlos'
version of the Thieving Magpie
by Rossini, which is played in
the orchestral version in the
film.
The Scherzo from the Ninth
Symphony is here, too, and, al-
though no note is made of it, it's
been chopped up and rearranged
to no good purpose,
The synthesized sound gets
monotonous; some of it is super,
though, namely what they did
use for the movie. And the last
cut, "Country Lane," which
combines live rain sound with
"Singing in the Rain" and syn-
thesized backgrounds, has some
interesting effects.
Which brings us to Sonic.

Seasonings. Composers from
Vivaldi to Cage have been por-
traying the seasons through
music, and now Carlos has
added his version. Using nat-
ural and synthesized sound, he
has created aural tapestries
that range from genuinely
pleasant to completely unbear-
able. "Spring" sounds like a
melange of the Environments
records and "Winter" is glas-
sy and cold, but I don't know
what inspired his vision of
summer. Perhaps he had just
been mugged on a New York
street in July when the tem-
perature, humidity and pollu-
tion index were all way up
there. Listen at your own risk.

are due Wed., Aug. 16th*
Please bring them to the
UAC offices, 2nd floor Union
but we'd like them by Aug. 10th!
Elect Jerold
C:ru ..LAX
..' Circuit Judge

soft-spoken, even when it is
loud. Custer uses improvisation
in some works like "I Used to
Play By Ear", which requires,
incidentally, two pianists, one
piano, a large toothbrush, a
stuffed rubber chicken and an
inflated plastic whiskey bottle,
among other things. Custer
offers the following comment:
"High artistic purpose is not
necessarily incompatible with
low humor."
When he is not being hu-
morous, though, Custer is of-
ten being dull and academic,
as in the song cycle, "Com-
ments on this World," on po-
ems of Abbie Huston Evans.
"Parabolas" for viola and pi-
ano is perhaps the best ,work
on the album, incorporating the
Bach two-part, invention in F
and soe little singing parts
like "Ah" and "Block that
Kick." Custer is not afraid to
go his own way, whatever the
probable reaction.
MOZART: Suites from the
Great Operas, delightfully ar-
ranged for- Wind Ensemble.
Members of the London Sym-
phonic Band, John Snashall,
conductor Columbia (M 313-
14)
Remember Bach for Band? I
said a few weeks ago that the
LSB had better improve before
it tried anything else. It hasn't,
and the arrangements of Mo-
zart tunes are decidedly worse
than the Bach ones. The
grounds for the transcriptions
are somewhat justifiable, I
guess, as Mozart planned such
an arrangement of music from
"Abduction from the Seraglio,"
although he never carried it
out. And I have nothing
against arrangements per se,
when they are done in either
good taste, or very bad taste
(Spike Jones, for example)
where taste is no longer a fac-
tor. I have myself arranged
Schubert songs' for piano, in
very bad taste, as country 'n
western tunes. Maybe Columbia
would like to hear those before
they try another mediocre, in-
sipid album with the London
Symphonic Band.
PLEASURES O F T H E
COURT: Festive dance music
by Morley and Susato. The
Early Music Consort of London
and the Morley Consort, David

Munrow, director Angel (S
36851)
Here's a London band of
another feather, a Renaissance
outfit. Susato's instructions for
his set of dances, "Le Danserye"
published in 1551, suggests that
the music is "pleasing and ap-
propriate 'to be played on mu-
sical instruments of all kinds."
The arrangements for wind
and string ensemble are in ex-
tremely good taste, very cheer-
ful, sometimes comic, as. in
"Danse du Roy" for crumm-
horns and rackett, the latter
being, I am told, a sort of cof-
fee pot with tubing inside that
sounds like a double contra-
bassoon.
The Morley dances from the
"First Book of Consort Les-
sons" (1599) are of a more
stately nature; the Susato
dances are mostly lively bran-
les and salterelles, while the
Morley collection of Dowland,
Byrd and his own pieces in-
cludes more pavans and galli-
ards.

THE MUSIC OF ARTHUR
CUSTER VOL. II Maureen
Forrester, Ph o en i x String
Quartet, others Serenus (SRS
12031)
Custer is a New Eng-
land composer who directs an
Arts in Education Project of
the Rhode Island State Coun-
cil on the Arts. He 'is involved
in bringing music to the people,
especially his own music. Most
of it is fairly interesting, with-
out making a terribly strong
impression. Like the composer
(who passed through Ann Ar-
bor a while ago), the music is
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The Early Music Consort has
been seen on television in "The
Six Wives of Henry VIII," and
if one appreciated the rich mu-
sic provided for that memor-
able series, one will no doubt
find much pleasure in the
group's latest effort.
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