Sunday, February 25, 2007

From a dark place with a hard edge

Paul Greenhaw is a composer and video maker to whom attention should be paid. Here's his web page.

Although most of the works on his web pages are in elegantly used just intonations with electronic organs with or without percussion, an older piece, D5W, played by the Lloyd Rodgers Group, has stuck with me particularly. D5W has something to do with hard rock music, a trajectory shared with a lot of other new musics, but its clarity -- though in any given moment, unpredictable -- of construction and straight forward discipline set it apart from those who have turned to rock resources for either the primitive or the complex. This is not rock deconstructed, but rock detourned, in the situationist mode (aha! a few clicks forward and I've found that Greenhaw also knows his Situationists).

The just intonation scores are also a good reminder that just intonation is not inevitably a way of making pretty little sugar plums even prettier, but rather a way in which to insure that the materials have clear relationships and hard edges, no matter how gnarly they may become. This is the route less taken in the just intonation world, but Partch (at his best), Young, Kraig Grady, among others, have signaled the potential here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

d5w is a great composition, paul greenhaw is a major talent and I consider him a partner in crime. I have been fortunate to have collaborated with him over the last few years. one should check out his composition "will there be fish on the phalanx" which is on my website which was recorded in a performance at the Northside Bank in Brooklyn in 2003. it too is a fine work. for the record, he is a friend if mine and i miss him since he moved to new york city. we did a lot of great work together. i hope to see him soon.
Lloyd Rodgers