Boomkat Product Review:
Spellbinding Metal Meditations recorded on gongs and other objects in NYC, 1974 by sound artist Philip Corner with help from Bill Fontana and performers at The Kitchen.
First released on CD in 2002, Gong+ forms part of Corner’s 400-piece library of gamelan works created since the 1950s and was created during a period of particular focus on the mind, whereas his other epochs were variously focussed on culture, body, spirit & soul.
The 29-minute 1st piece, Metal Meditations with Listening Center, documents Corner and Fontana channelling the vibrations of NYC itself thru mics stuck in metal tubes - apparently Fontana was “putting his ear to everything” and recording what he called Listening Centers, which we interpret to be interesting nodes for vibration - that seamlessly integrate the environment into their continuous wash and patter of softly and harshly struck, resonant surfaces. Within a few minutes this piece makes time feel elastic and our sense of depth perception dissolved into the ether. Quite a lush sensation.
Gong! follows, employing the talents of Brian Dallow, Daniel Goode and Carol Weber in a close exploration of the instrument’s elusive resonance glacially transitioning into the low-key strings of a piano over the course of 23 minutes in 2 as entrance - passageway (resounding regularly), whilst the final composition Pulse Polyphony renders a steady, 10-minute passage from string piano to discordant bell-tree chimes.