♫♪  Cop Tears - “Harmony 19 (New York - Andrew Law)”

This album really deserves a full review. Maybe we’ll get there. A hope to do.

Recital, who is re-issuing Thirteen Harmonies (Cage, 1986), which was originally released by Cop Tears member Derek Baron’s Reading Group imprint back in 2016, who also just released what I found to be a really sad and stunningly affecting 3xLP set of cult figure David Wojnarowicz’s cassette tape journals, which also deserves its own blurb, or its own review—this is and isn’t just me, Thirteen Harmonies… encourages these kinds of diversions and distractions, thoughtful wanderings, quiet interjections, spaces for generous interrogation and poignant conversation. There’s community and trust, a certain romance and a kind of platonic lust for the late morning, the early evening, a folder full of sheet music stuffed full and spilling—describes the release “as regal as bored as humble as confused.” An album of loose drafts so perfectly and circumstantially complete.

I remember when you first sent me this album and I listened to it so much. Still reminds me of you. I remember when someone posted a picture of the original CD-r to their Instagram story and I was jealous that they had it but I can’t remember who. I remember when someone texted me about this album and I replied, “I wish I had this.” Now I do. Thank you.

Buy it here and read more about the release in the wonderful words of Baron below:

Thirteen Harmonies is a selection from John Cage’s 44 Harmonies From Apartment House 1776, written for the American bicentennial, which itself is a selection of pieces in the colonial and early American choral canon. Arranged for double bass, electric guitar, and flute, from the arrangement for keyboard and violin, from the original four-part chorale, Thirteen Harmonies is an arrangement of a reduction of an arrangement of a reduction. The choral composers whose works were the material for Cage’s Apartment House were considered the avant-garde of choral music of the 18th century, and their music became the seed of Sacred Harp music, a radical lay tradition of the rural American south. John Cage composed the harmonies by way of erasure of the Protestant chorales and set them in an “apartment house” among other American voices: Native American ritual music, slave spirituals, and Sephardic incantations. What binds the lay experimentalism of William Billings and his contemporaries (all white American men) to the ‘multiplicity of centers’ of the Apartment House of John Cage (a white American man) is the destruction of a privileged musical space, the making-permeable of the division between the music of the piece and the sound of the people coming together to make the music of the piece. A positive destabilizing from within. Thirteen Harmonies was recorded live on two consecutive mornings in 2016 to a faulty 4-track on bled-through tape in Cameron’s apartment house in Queens, New York.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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