Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Cartesian memories

Composer Lloyd Rodgers wrote to let me know that he's put a small treasure of recordings by the late and legendary Cartesian Reunion Memorial Orchestra (alongside his own fine work) online at:

Although sharing some common origins, west coast minimal music has a diversity and depth quite distinct from the east coast variety, and the Cartesians were very much a west coast phenomenon. Their music was tonal (but not always functional), cyclical, repetitive (except when it wasn't), sometimes closer to English minimalism, sometimes socio-political, and often blessed with that decent sense of irony that comes when a group of friends decide to make music for themselves. (East coast minimalism has many aspects; to the best of my knowledge, irony is not among them).

Postscript: I just listened to Rodger's trio (1975): a strange and beautiful piece, and (IMO as always) one of the better entries in the late piano trio repertoire (alongside the two trios by Clarence Barlow and those by Morton Feldman and Wolfgang von Schweinitz).

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