Lou Cohen

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

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Lou Cohen (1937), a pioneer of software based in Boston, returned to music when he was about 60, mostly using a programmable synthesizer and algorithmic and stochastic techniques. This led to the computer music compiled on the triple-disc Music (Pogus, 2013). The ten Shape compositions demonstrate how to create music using mathematics, something that many have done in the 20th century, notably Iannis Xenakis. One can assume that Cohen selected the patterns that result in pleasant sounds to his ears. The droning mini-concerto Harmonies delivers more powerful vibrations. Homage To Cage is surprisingly clownesque, or, at least, dadaistic. The brief Concerto, instead, represents a peak of melodrama, with a much more calculated game of timbres and counterpoint. Circles is a lighter sonata for whirling, hissing and whistling cosmic music. Besides Harmonies and Concerto, the highlights of this collection are the nine "symphonies", which are sound collages (the shortest is less than seven minutes, the longest lasts 20 minutes). They range from violently atonal and disjointed (Symphony 1) and totally chaotic (Symphony 5) to old fashioned Schaeffer/Henry musique concrete (Symphony 3). Symphony 8 is really a sonata for toy piano and electronics. Possibly the standout is the aphasic, intermittent and fleeting Symphony 2. (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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