Two new slices of avant garde mastery from trusted voices Superior Viaduct, this time in the form of Ellen Fullman's previously cassette-only (and mighty rare) In the Sea, and a neatly compiled Jon Gibson collection. Long-time listeners likely already know Fullman for her radical Long String Instrument concept which married sound and sculpture within a performative context, and In the Sea is a continuation of that work, exploring the competing textures of densely composed acoustic drone and minimalist formalism into a deeply affecting and immersive work. Kali Malone fans need pay close attention.
A contemporary of Glass, Riley etc, Jon Gibson's Song and Melodies pushes in a slightly different direction to Fullman, less inclined towards drone and more informed by the same Cagian-like principles of repetition that informed Reich's work. The legacy of this music and its current relevance cannot be overstated - it is foundational to near-all modern composition. Try watching a new (good) film without hearing elements of this. Radical as it was at the time of its conception, it's remarkable how inviting and engaging this now sounds. To solely brand it as avant garde closes a door that might otherwise be open. Head music that you can feel in your chest, too. A rare achievement in every sense.