Personnel: William Winant (percussion).
Recording information: Mills College (06/1998-07/1998).
Performed by William Winant, the title track on Theme Park is a work for percussion quartet. The work had been played live before, with four percussionists sitting in the four corners of a stage, but this version is entirely played by Winant. Besides the technical difficulties of reducing a piece that was intended for four players to one, Alvin Curran threw in a few other oddities, including the purchase of a six-pack of turkey drumsticks to give the low end a completely unique sound. Winant does an excellent job in executing this piece, which at nearly 33 minutes is a trial of endurance for the listener and most certainly a trial of endurance for the performer, given its frantic pace. That piece is paired with a shorter one: "Charlie's Park," which is a tribute to Charlie Parker, and, as such, achieves an appropriate level of chaos, with saxophones blurring into a wall of noise. While not gaining much in listenability, both pieces show that Curran has made definite steps forward with this album, showing off increasing depth and maturity. ~ Stacia Proefrock