MONAHAN, GORDON: Speaker Swinging & Piano Mechanics
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Active since the late '70s in the field of electronic music but more visibly in performances, installations and sound art, Gordon Monahan is famous for his extensions and deconstruction of pianos. This CD features his Piano Mechanics, eight pieces that explore the outer reaches of the instrument as a source of complex sound - avoiding any conventional playing at all. Nicely recorded by John Oswald and the composer in 1990. The second piece is his celebrated 'Speaker Swinging', which explores the Doppler effect through manually swinging several independent loudspeakers in large arcs in acoustic space. The speakers emit minimal oscillator tones thereby foregrounding the pitch shifting caused by their motion. It's eerie and fascinating, and tells you a lot about ear/brain sensitivity; you really sense this motion as motion. It could not be simulated. This is a live recording, of course, in a real acoustic space (1987). It also works musically. Another important document.