Thursday, September 03, 2009

Favorite Topics: Erickson

I avoid recordings, but sometimes I can't resist:  here's a newish recording of Robert Erickson's East of the Beach, in many ways typical of his later works, in the use of favorite topics or textures: an opening droning section,  a more melodic central section (here, very nicely, the melodies, in a kind of fake counterpoint of simultaneous variation — a favorite west coast style, used by Erickson, Harrison, Leedy, and many others — are nicely orchestrated with the melodic material carried by the strings and the winds providing the background continuity by sustaining tones grabbed from the melodies) and finally a cheerful hocketing section.   The title is very nice, too, especially as Erickson lived on the west coast, so that East in the title is the direction inland, not towards the water, and the piece does, appropriately, get more built-up and populated as it goes on.

If you don't know Charles Shere's book about Erickson and his music, Thinking Sound Music, you should.  Also, this article on the late music ( online here) by John MacKay is very much worth reading.

1 comment:

taylan susam said...

I was hoping for Roky Erickson...