18/02/2009

La Monte Young - Dream House

I originally found this LP in a dodgy scruffy record shop in Scarbourough many years back in its original gatefold sleeve and the record was immaculate. Years later i found out about its raritiy and value and was astounded. It comprises 2 epic unfolding drones, one side just pure sine wave tone generator and the other the same tone with La Monte Young utilising overtone singing. The drone side is amazing as you move around the space you are listening to it in you notice subtle changes in the timbres and if you get down low the whole thing turns into a sub bass. Originally released by the French label Shandar with the catalog number Shandar 83.510 and never re-released on CD, "Dream House 78' 17" is one of the very few recordings ever made by minimalist composer La Monte Young, in this case together with his long-time companion Marian Zazeela and his group The Theater of Eternal Music (spelled "The Theatre of Eternal Music" on the record). The 78' 17" in the title consists of the duration of the record measured in minutes and seconds. This length, almost double what was then normal, was extremely unusual in its time. Young in the sleeve notes says that "Time is so important to the experiencing and understanding of the music in the record that every effort was made to make the record last as much as the original master tapes.

The first composition, "Drift Study 14 VII 73 9:27:27-10:06:41 PM NYC" is a part of "Map of 49's Dream The Two Systems of Eleven Sets of Galactic Intervals Ornamental Lightyears Tracery", itself a section of an even longer work called "The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys". In it, three sine waves and the members of The Theatre of Eternal Music play together. According to Young, the lack of harmonic content of the sine waves makes accompanying them with regular instruments and human players extremely difficult.
The second composition, "Drift Study 14 VII 73 9:27:27-10:06:41 PM NYC (39" 14")", is played entirely by sine wave generators. Frequencies and voltages of the sine waves generators were determined and tuned by La Monte Young using oscillators custom-designed by sound technician Robert Adler to generate specific frequencies and voltages of great stability. The sine waves produced are such that they interfere with each other, creating changes of volume both in time and space that can be experienced either walking within the room or staying put. If one chooses to walk, he will change the sound experience of other people in the room by moving the molecules of air.
A Dream House exists at the Mela Foundation on 257 Church Street, NewYork, and is open to the public.


LINK

1 comment:

pb said...

hey, good work posting this one. there's a litte bit of young's stuff floating around but i've never found a post of the shandar lp before.

cheers