rare and forgotten experimental music

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ingram Marshall - The Fragility Cycles

Ingram Marshall has been active since the mid 70s, and this here is his first album. He's one of the earlier second-generation minimalists, along with John Adams, and studied under early electronic music greats Vladimir Ussachevsky and Morton Subotnick.

This LP was recorded in 1977 (at Charlemagne Palestine's New York City loft!), and released on Marshall's own IBU records.

The Fragility Cycles was a semi-improvised piece for live performance, performed solo by Marshall. It's played on gambuh (a balinese bamboo flute), Tcherepnin synthesizer, tape, voice, a delay system, and some percussion instruments. The end result is a beautiful, droning swirl of sound. The piece is very textural and slow, with sounds meshing with one another beautifully.

Marshall has continued to explore fairly similar sounds, his relatively well-known piece "Fog Tropes" for brass sextet is a beautiful, droning classic. I've got a couple of more recent CDs of his, and it's all excellent, definitely worth checking out.

I believe some of the music from this LP has been rereleased on CD on IKON and Other Early Works on New World records, but I don't think it has the entire Fragility cycles album, which is a shame because the whole thing flows beautifully as one piece of music.


Eclat2000 said...

Hello Aaron,

With this I feel the need to thank you so much for bringing this wonderfull Ingram Marshall composition 'The Fragility Cycles' into the light again!

A friend of mine taped this composition shortly after it's release in 1978 from a Belgian radio station. However this piece was recorded on a low quality tape, the reception was disturbed by atmospheric interferences and the sound level was adjusted automatically. I received this recording from my friend that same year and have been in love with it ever since. Aaron, you can imagine how overjoyed I was to find your installment last night!

I have collected minimal and computer generated music since the early 1970's and I consider Ingram Marshall as being one of the major composers in this field. Over the years I have been able to buy three of his official cd releases. To be able to add 'The Fragility Cycles' to this collection is a great gift!

Other composers wich I would like to suggest to you to add to your own collection are the German Roland Kayn and the French Jean Claude Eloy. They too are both giants.

Aaron, I have added your blog to my bookmarks and I will visit your site many more times in the future to check out if you have unearthed any more of these hidden gems. Keep up the good work!

Best wishes from The Netherlands,


Anonymous said...

Hey any chance you'd be able to re-upload this mp3 album? Really want to hear it but can't find it anywhere, would be eternally grateful, cheers!