You know those women’s magazine spreads that are like, “Sexy at Any Age!!!!!” or some nonsense, and it’s basically a photoshoot of how you can wear a blazer with like, a mesh top and no bra if you’re 20, a ruffly blouse if you’re 30, a simple tank if you’re 40, and like, a thin shield of metal armor if you’re 50? Well, New York-based minimalist composer and founder of Experimental Intermedia Phill Niblock is like, the role model, for Cool At Any Age!!!!! How many 80-year olds do you know who have worked with Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore, inspired legions of avant-garde luminaries like Susan Stenger, Lois V. Vierk, David First, and Glenn Branca, and who currently has a fifth album on the way from Touch? After all, like Aaliyah said, age ain’t nothing but a number.
And Niblock, a man who has been pushing the boundaries of music for several decades, is doing something a little different on Touch 5. Says the man himself:
In 1998, Petr Kotik asked me to make a piece for orchestra, so, I began to make scores for the musicians to play from… .These are the instructions for the scored piece on the second CD, ‘Two Lips.’ The score was prepared by Bob Gilmore, from specific directions by me: ‘Two Lips,’ aka ‘Nameless,’ is conceived as two scores, A and B, to be played simultaneously, lasting 23 minutes. Each score consists of 10 instrumental parts. The 20 separate parts should be distributed randomly amongst the musicians of the ensemble; the ‘A group’ and the ‘B group’ are not separated spatially. In each part, one note changes to the next in a graded sequence of microtonal steps… .The piece calls for very subtle gradations of tuning in order to achieve a richness of ensemble sound, full of beatings of near-unison pitches, and with clouds of overtones and difference tones.
Touch 5 gives you three different guitar quartets’ take on the piece: you get Zwerm (Belgium), Dither (New York), and an international assemblage of musicians, Coh Da (Ad Hoc spelled backwards…..!!!!). Listen to a sample, see the details, and buy it at the Touch Shop.
Touch 5 tracklisting:
01. FeedCorn Ear
02. A Cage of Stars
01. Two Lips
02. Two Lips (Dither Guitar Quartet)
03. Two Lips (Coh Da Guitar Quartet)