AG12 CD, $16.00 US
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Rational Melodies/Bedtime Stories
I want to find the music, not to compose it". This
statement, one of Tom Johnson's most effective, explains the general sense
of the music of this CD and of most of Tom's musical research. The Rational
Melodies are one of the most important instrumental cycles of the "new
music" repertoire. Here we have the application of rational methodology
to musical composition, using additive operations, combinations, permutations,
substitutions, inversions and other logical processes as directed by the ear
of a passionate musician. "I am certainly not the first person to work
with logical sequences and formulas," says Johnson. But we, the listeners,
must thank him for letting us hear clearly (and musically) this rationality.
The Bedtime Stories can be heard as delicate, peculiar musical "nursery
rhymes"; it's a little 12-story compendium of sound that takes us on
an amazing journey in the world of numbers.
Roger Heaton is, in this disc, simply fantastic. It¹s hard to find a
better word to describe the sensations that surface as we listen to him. The
British clarinetist give us the essence of Johnsons music. In his interpretation
rationality becomes joy, inspiration, strength; melodies appear in chic classical
clothes and his virtuosity (always needed by the score) perfectly adheres
to the scores. And there is also the elegant reading of the texts of the Bedtime
Stories, with that perfect English accent and that clarinet that seems coming
from the pages of a fairy-tales (and numbers) book.
Esther Ferrer is a multi-faceted Spanish artist, living in Paris for years,
but traveling all over Europe (much in Italy) and in the rest of the world.
Presenting performances, installations, photographic works, she is a great
exponent of "total art" (she was in the group ZAJ from 1967 until
the group discontinued in 1996). For this CD cover, she offers one of her
visual structures following the prime number series, an aspect of her work
that goes particularly well with the rational processes of her husband, Tom
Johnson. A particular thanks to Esther for her kind permission to allow us
to use this image.