Album Remarks & Appraisals:
This is a reissue of an LP, originally released in 1979. It was digitally remastered in 2007. At the time of release, these were premiere recordings of multi-keyboard works.
Personnel: "Blue" Gene Tyranny (keyboards); Paul de Marinis (electronics).
Liner Note Authors: Paul de Marinis; Phil Harmonic ; John Bischoff; Robert Ashley.
Recording information: 08/1978-09/1978.
"Blue" Gene Tyranny is the solo, sometimes overdubbed, keyboardist on four works written for him by four rather different composers. Robert Ashley's "Sonata" was begun in 1959 and left to languish for almost two decades before being finished in 1978 at Tyranny's insistence. Though containing none of the quasi-rock feeling that would pervade much of his later work, it has a looseness of sound that belies its fairly complex structure, with notes from prior sections being brought back and added into later ones, making for a gradual accumulation of tones that works a subtle kind of magic, making matters more complex before the listener is aware of it. "Timing," by Phil Harmonic, is a delightful piece for two concurrent organ-like drones. The composer uses his sense of time to ask the performer to switch notes by calmly saying, "Change now" at irregular intervals, leaving it to the performer to choose which chord to play next. Paul DeMarinis' "Great Masters of Melody" is more lightweight (perhaps intentionally so), consisting of a plinked melodic line by Tyranny on an oddly Sun Ra-ish sounding clavinet. Last up is "Rendezvous" by John Bischoff, an exercise for multiple electronic keyboards in a generally romantic vein with interposed incongruous patches of atonality. It also nods to pop electronica of a minimalist sort, but this only serves to date the work somewhat in a secondhand Terry Riley way. Overall, the record is worth hearing for the Phil Harmonic and Ashley pieces, although it had yet to be reissued on disc as of 2002. ~ Brian Olewnick