Phil Kline

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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The Del Byzanteen, featuring Phil Kline on guitar and Jim Jarmusch on keyboards, were part of New York's new wave of the early 1980s. Their EP Lies To Live By (Dontfalloff, 1982) offered ethereal dance music tinged with exotic tribal rhythms as well as industrial clangor (Girl's Imagination), hallucinating pow-wow bacchanals (Welcome Machines), and Middle-eastern or Slavic-inspired ceremonies with mantra-like drones (Apartment 13).

Jarmusch went on to become an influential film-maker. Phil Kline went on to become a well-respected composer, debuting with the anti-war song cycle Zippo Songs (Cantaloupe, 2004) but achieving fame with the street composition Unsilent Night (1992) for boomboxes, documented on Unsilent Night (Cantaloupe, 2001). Meanwhile he premiered the electroacoustic work Bachman's Warbler (1992) for tape loops and 12 harmonicas, documented on his compilation of "boombox music" Glow In The Dark (CRI, 1998), that was followed by chamber compositions such as the sextet Exquisite Corpses (1997) for the Bang On A Can All-Stars and the string quartet The Blue Room (first recorded in 2003). A Fantasy on One Note, documented on New York Guitars (1996) harks back to his tenure in Glenn Branca's guitar ensembles.

Around the World in a Daze (Starkland, 2009) is a surround-sound DVD production. The musique concrete of The Housatonic at Henry Street generates a hissing/buzzing noise that turns into frantic videogame-like tinkling. Svarga Yatra is contemplative chamber-music that ebbs and flows lulled inside an ur-drone. The 18-minute Pennies from Heaven is scored for computer-generated metallic bell-like sounds that builds up from a somnolent beginning towards an intricate timbric kaleidoscope and then decays through a choral whisper. Grand Etude for the Elevation alternates between rapid-fire minimalist repetition and string-driven droning. Prelude is a cheerful distorted parody of baroque keyboard music, turning into amusement-park music. The Housatonic at Dzanga is the best choreographed collage of field recordings, a dramatic crescendo of natural and urban sounds topped by a gothic choir. The DVD also contains The Wailing Wall for multitracked vocal loops, On the Waterfront, based on a couple's copulation, and Luv U 2 Death, a remix of Wagner.

John the Revelator (premiered in november 2006 - Cantaloupe, 2009) is a completely different work, a mass for vocal ensemble and string quartet, alternating a-cappella and accompanied movements, that employs a number of different techniques, from exuberant minimalist repetition (The Man Who Knows Misery, the second half of Dark Was The Night), to plaintive quasi-pop harmonies (The Snow Fell), from ancient geometrical counterpoint (Sanctus) to soaring operatic arias (the all too brief Alone).

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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