In a great hall under magenta lights comes together the collaboration between La Monte Young, grandfather of minimalism, and Maria Zazeela, visual artist and lifelong companion to Young. La Monte has been known as one of the most uncompromising composers since the 60’s starting of by enraging his teachers with slow works that “could not possibly be done”. Later on he left behind a record contract because of the companies demands of compromising the art, thus leaving his career sadly undocumented on record.
Lucky for us there are a few releases, though extremely rare, one of them being the 5cd colossus “The Well-Tuned Piano”.
Listening to the well-tuned piano is like a state of meditation. You can close your eyes and drift away to Tomorrow land. The flow of the music is most captivating and craves all your attention to take in the tiny nuances of the piano work. Giving attention to all details takes strength and stamina as the 5 hour composition evolves and changes along the way. La Monte explores the full range of his grand piano by means of slow evolving chord progressions and frantic sound clouds that twirl the notes around in mid air creating micro compositions inside the piece.
The music visualizes peaceful scenes and landscapes while La Monte’s finger work takes you further away into fantasy land. His eastern inspirations can be heard in the music though they aren’t brought forth in the obvious ‘in your face’ way. The visual nature of the composition makes it the musical equivalent to “The Neverending Story”, a travel into utopia where all troubles are swept away.
In silence and solitude this release will unfold as one of the most remarkable pieces of art in recent history.