Hangedup & Tony Conrad: Transit Of Venus
Tony Conrad: Joan of Arc (1968)
Tony Conrad is a founding father of "minimalism" and a giant in the American soundscape. With help from Table of the Elements, Conrad's Audio ArtKive imprint continues to document the wild breadth of his 40-year career, with an array of releases that includes field recordings, piano compositions, power electronics and more.The indefatigable Conrad kept busy during the Revolution Summer of 1968. In addition to his reunion recordings with John Cale (documented earlier this year in the Cale set "New York in the 1960s"), Conrad starred in Ira Cohen's legendary film "The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda" and made extensive solo recordings, including _Joan of Arc_, available here for the first time. One of Conrad's personal favorites, it's a long piece for pump organ, in which he conjures both searing white heat and malignant gothic dread. An excerpt was used as the soundtrack for the Piero Heliczer film of the same name, but Conrad feels a greater affinity with that year's Cohen film; accordingly, Cohen graciously provided restored stills from "Thunderbolt Pagoda" for the packaging of this release. Cohen's sumptuous imagery -- which Jimi Hendrix described as "looking through butterfly wings" -- features a blissed-out and shirtless Conrad replete in pencil mustache, mascara and blood-red turban. The man is just downright cool -- about as cool as Hendrix, and almost always louder."Tony Conrad is a pioneer, as seminal in his way to American music as Johnny Cash or Captain Beefheart or Ornette Coleman, one of those really savvy old guys whom all the kids want to emulate because their ideas, their style are electric and new and somehow indivisible."Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tony Conrad: Early Minimalism Vol. 1
In 1962 Tony Conrad's amplified strings introduced the sustained drone of just-intonation into what came to be known as "minimal" music. Utilizing long durations and precise pitch, he and his collaborators forged an aggressively mesmerising "Dream Music" ? denying the activity of composition, elaborating shared ideas of performance, and articulating the Big Bang of "minimalism". However, the many rehearsal and performance recordings from this period were repressed, inaccessibly buried.In 1987 Conrad set out on a ten-year return expedition to the site of these entombed fragments; from them he reconstructed and regenerated the epic EARLY MINIMALISM. Reaching back through time, Tony Conrad weaves a mobile narrative over and under minimalism: making music out of history, and history out of music.
Tony Conrad: Bryant Park Moratorium Rally (1969)
An October afternoon in 1969. Midtown Manhattan. A rally in Bryant Park against the Vietnam War. Down 42nd Street towards Times Square, Tony Conrad is adjusting microphones in his 5th floor loft, one directed at the TV set - where it will pick up live local news coverage -- the other pointing out the window, where the echo of speeches and crowd noise mingles with the oceanic rush of crosstown traffic. As the event is about to begin, he rolls tape. Thirty-four years later, we hear what he heard. And the juncture, for so many reasons, could not be more critical. As the Bush Administration pursues a risky military agenda in the Middle East - one with unsettling long-term implications both at home and abroad - we see a nation not divided, as in the Vietnam Era, but strangely complacent. Our media-saturated reality functions like a drug, instantly televised warfare a new entertainment, and organized public dissent a novelty at home and a roaring chorus everywhere else. Conrad's recording of the Oct. 15 Vietnam Moratorium Rally is an eerie flashback that offers urgent new insights into our own lives and times, post-9/11 and full on into a new millennium.