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Schlingen-Blangen


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Audio CD, September 21, 1999
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$18.86 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Charlemagne Palestine was a constant presence on the downtown New York City scene in the '70s and was best known for his punishing feats of endurance on the Bösendofer piano. Lately, many of his early recordings have been reissued. A few years back, a 1975 piano marathon, Strumming Music, was reissued, which is Palestine going nuts on the keyboard, banging out a repetitious minimalist pattern for 45 minutes, never missing a beat (Palestine is rumored to have pounded the strings so hard that he would often snap them). Soon thereafter, some of his minimal electronic works were rereleased, which earned him a following in the electronica community. Thankfully, New World Records added this CD, which dates from 1979, to Palestine's growing discography. On it, Palestine simply holds down a single note on a church organ for an hour. So little happens that the monotony makes Steve Reich's Four Organs sound like a Mahler symphony. But it's the extreme act of minimalism that makes for an intriguing exercise in just how much can be squeezed out of a single gesture. It takes extremely concentrated listening to even notice the dozens of small events such as overtones and harmonics slowly and quietly unfold across this seemingly static--yet oddly sensuous--field. --Kenneth Goldsmith

1. Schlingen-Blangen - Charlemagne Palestine

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 21, 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New World Records
  • ASIN: B00001YVD1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #410,072 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "undeletablearchive" on March 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is a continuous 72 minute church organ piece made of a single chord activited by inserting cardboard wedges between selected keys. Stops are then progressively opened and closed to accentuate points in the harmonic structure. That's all.
Except that's NOT all, by any means. Palestine is a master in the art of listening. His music is dedicated to an intense act of concentrating on the moiré of overtones in a simple structure and manipulating this in real time. It has transcendental results. Rhythms emerge; soft, Reich-like, out of the play of different wavelengths. Shifts across different tonal metrics cause hallucinatory effects. Now, the music appears to be going backward - or, now, to have been processed through electronic effects. But it hasn't. All there is is the chord, the stops moving, and the listening.
Palestine's music tries to induce the sacred through minimum means. This makes it sound forbiddingly esoteric, but it isn't. There is an almost commercial ear for resolution. Thus, 21 minutes in, Palestine makes manifest the basstone that's been constantly implied - the one that's playing in your head; and the effect is revelatory.
Palestine is a kind of punk minimalist with no pretensions and no interest in selling records. His music, which appears to have been won at the expense of some suffering and poverty, has enormous purity and rigour. At the same time his spirituality, which totally informs his work, is completely grounded, honest, and rooted in the everyday search, found in some religions and spiritual practices (the sensible ones), for a simple, renewing, but elusive transcendental experience; the sort that brings you to a still, transformative point where peace and absolute raptness co-exist. Sure enough, when this music hits its mark (which is often) your heart beats faster, hairs stand up, things make sense - and the white rush of the new passes across you.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By svf on February 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Are you ready for over an hour of pipe organ drone?
Lost in the increasingly watered-down world of the Glass/Reich/Adams holy trinity of minimalism is the pure, visceral, stripped-down music of Charlemagne Palestine. The few recordings of his works are almost impossible to track down. Luckily, there is this CD release from the realatively well-distributed New World label. Get it before it also ends up on the "out of print" roster.
Listening to the simple eloquence and uncanny spiritual depth of this music is a somewhat sad reminder of what minimalism really was meant to be before becoming the bloated, excessive, sentimental stuff that is is today. Palestine is a true American original whose music needs wider recognition and representation. Hear him.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Sellers on November 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This piece is about as minimalist as one can get: A single chord on a pipe organ sustained over 70 minutes. But a lot happens in those 70 minutes as Palestine slowly alters the stops-- certain frequencies are highlighted, the "beats" generated by the chord create rhythms & melodies. It's a study in tonal color & it is absolutely sublime - like placing a microscope up to a sound. Imagine one of Rothko's huge color field paintings... except it's 10 MILES HIGH!! It's especially emotionally overwhelming when listened to at a loud volume! I would rank this CD as one of my top 10 "desert island" picks for sure. I hope that more of Palestine's work is recorded & that it remains in print!

If you like early Steve Reich (like the tape pieces, the phase pieces or Drumming) then you will probably love this!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By scarecrow VINE VOICE on October 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
this is where minimalism should have started,uncompromising and when you hear these orthodox works it makes all subsequent offerings, seem mediocre and self-serving, opportunist. You can check the various Minimalists Lists for Their Top Ten, and this piece is always in it if Not Numero Uno, Tony Conrad Terry Riley, Phil Glass as well, all Top Drawer Stuff;never argue with success but here I think you can, minimalism lives for the committment to its concept to its procedural dimensions, its working out of a place.Too bad the late Morton Feldman came to it quite late, and La Monte Young went into Eastern affinities,and his own indulgences.Well-Tuned Piano is Top Ten Stuff, Just Intonation great piece, It was a reaction at least in the visual arts artists as Richard Serra, Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Bridget Riley, Ken Noland, Bruce Nauman and Ellsworth Kelly, some go as far as saying that it was part of the Anti-War Times, against corporatism,but I don't think so for minimalism only works with a great deal of money and support buying old Army Bases as Donald Judd's in Marfa Texas, or Dan Flavin's flourescent lighting schemes,or Serra's massive plates, hundreds of thousands of dollars in steel mill productions; Art is Money. Here it is a wonder to hear this one organ chord transformations of organ registers, it makes you beleive again in art, what it was and may have become. You look at timbre as under a microscope, as we all think we do with other works. This one forces the issue a bit more.Charlemagne Palestine (Charles Martin), while he lived in Los Angeles area he had done a series of concerts in The Unitarian Church in Downtown LA, and this piece was part of those events. He has played this all over the globe, and it still holds a fascination as one of the primary works of American minimalism.
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