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Corner, Philip – “Gong / Ear : Dance-ing, 1 & 2” – [Roaratorio]

Max Level   2/26/2013   12-inch, A Library

A 2012 release documenting one era of composer/percussionist Corner’s ongoing collaboration with dancers–these two side-long pieces (24 mins and 20 mins) are from 1989, recorded in Corner’s NYC loft. The artist performs solo on his familiar tam-tam, a highly resonant metallic instrument similar to a gong. Seems to be a feedback-type system at work here, wherein the tam-tam makes a sound which a dancer responds to, which informs the next tam-tam contribution, and so on. Quite nice–sometimes resonantly meditative and sometimes more active and percussive. I especially like the last third or so of Side A, which is more single-minded and rhythmically pulsing than the rest of the record. A few random sounds are included here and there, such as a telephone ringing in the background a couple of minutes into Side B. The liner notes tell us that “all distortions are inherent and desired” so keep in mind this is meant more as a document than it is a flawless recording. The round sheet metal pseudo-gong attached to the album cover is a nice (though odd) touch.

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