Philip Corner – Rocks Can Fall At Any Time (More Mars Team, LP, 2013)

philip corner

rating: 10/10

American composer Philip Corner born in 1930 and he is one of the founders of Fluxus movement including various artists with different aesthetics and musical backgrounds like John Cage, La Monte Young, Yoko Ono, Terry Riley, John Cale etc. His involvement in Fluxus is best known from his notorious “Piano Activities” in 1962, written for any number of performers, exploring the resonance limits of a piano by destroying it (Piano Activities, LP menopause, Alga Magnet). After his marriage with the astrologer and trance medium Julie Winter, Corner started being interesting on minimalism and the silent experiences in music focusing on natural sounds. He worked with metal objects having the idea that “metal resonance is a natural sound that dines on necessity of art”.

Rocks Can Fall At Any Time present us 4 long Zen like compositions of Philip Corner. On the first side there are 2 formal Metal Meditation like recordings took place in Bali (1989) and New York (1997). On Gong (ceng-ceng) / Ear”, Philip Corner is using some very resonant handheld Balinese cymbals producing sounds that fit absolutely with the external environment. Philip Corner’s music stands as an open dialog between the performer, the space included and the inner self. Two in Thailand, duo with dancer/ choreographer Phoebe Neville, is actually a more graphically ceremonial score. The two performers circling the microphone creating a mournful combination of heavy and light vibrations with a gong and two very small finger cymbals. The whole score is included in the inner book making clear of what we are listening and there is a beautiful picture of the first performance of the track in Bankok on the back cover. The second side of the LP focusses on non metal compositions of Corner but in the same mental Zen like motive. The first one is a duo with James Fulkerson using voice, jug and bottle. This is a breath study took place in New York in 1972 as a private performance. This is a great track, quite hypnotic with an extra texture of static noise that came from the low fidelity recording. The last track is a harmonium composition based on Satie’s c+ chord. A very interesting track not only of the hypnagogic sense but also by the audience’s sounds.

This is a quite special release from an artist that is still producing great music with a theoretical base but also with an intuitive point of view. Also the LP includes a 16 pages small book full of info, pictures and scores of Philip Corner. Just great!



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