Mark Applebaum: 30 (Innova, 2015)

October 7, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Mark Applebaum: 30

Mark Applebaum: 30

Mark Applebaum’s percussion piece “30” is actually three pieces in one; it consists of “The First Decade”, “The Second Decade”, and “The Third Decade” all played simultaneously. All three individual pieces are presented by themselves, as well as in combination with one other piece. It’s almost like a sort of Zaireeka experiment performed live. Of course, it all sounds best in the original three-in-one piece, there’s definitely long gaps during the other pieces. But it’s quite interesting to hear them all individually and in combination just to see how it all fits together. Solo piece “The First Decade” is actually a symmetrical stereo piece, with identical instruments played by left and right hands and microphoned so that they pan to their respective channels in the mix. Listening to the piece by itself means 10 minutes of blank space punctuated by woodblocks and cowbells panning rapidly between both channels. “The Second Decade” features a quartet playing different percussion instruments as well as doing choreographed hand gestures and hissing. “The Third Decade” is a bizarre soundscape with dozens of instruments as well as common (or maybe not-so-common) objects, including a manual typewriter, a saw, a corrugated plastic tube called a bloogle, etc. Pretty interesting concept, I’m sure seeing it live would be fascinating.

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