Boomkat Product Review:
Fluxus bod Philip Corner's time-dilating, spiritual gong drones were recorded back in 1988-89 and still sound completely singular. Deep, percussive and resonant haunt fer fans of Rhys Chatham, Tony Conrad, Annea Lockwood, Z'EV et al.
Back in the late 1980s, experimental composer Corner linked up Korean new age Shaman Hiah Park, who specialized in the art of ritual dance. Corner had been stationed in Korea in when he was in military service, and had immediately been struck by the local traditional music he had access too on the radio. He attended Park's workshops in New York and eventually the two agreed to collaborate, fusing Park's dance with Corner's "metal meditations" techniques he had been developing with gongs.
The duo performed two shows in Europe together, and when Corner returned to New York, he developed another performance alongside his friend Sin Cha Hong, a Korean-American dancer and choreographer. The recordings of all three performances are captured here, and while we sadly don't get to experience the physical portion, Corner's lulling meditative drones are a joy to absorb.
This type of textured, deep listening music is often attempted and rarely mastered - "Gong/Ear: Shaman" is completely in the zone, never obtrusive but also never dull. The sounds Corner manages to pull from the gongs are ghostly, resonant and completely entrancing. We can only imagine what it might have been like to see it in person.