Wednesday, 2 March 2016
Charlemagne Palestine - Strumming Music (1974)
This album was one that did see limited release soon after its conception, on the French label Shandar who were also responsible for some of Philip Glass' early exposure. When it comes to Strumming Music, any Glass comparisons (or indeed Steve Reich comparisons) are only helpful on the surface - this might be a fifty-minute minimalist piano work, but by focusing on texture rather than strict notation it's arguably more affecting and engrossing over the course of its extended length. Starting from just a couple of notes, and building up into only slightly more complex clusters, Strumming Music is all about the gorgeous grand piano sound ringing out in bell-like tones, or sometimes like the strumming sounds that gave it its title, with the piano's sustain pedal hammered down throughout.