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.