René van Peer

Eyvind Kang / Jessika Kenney. Reverse Tree. Singer Jessika Kenney and viola player Eyvind Kang have released albums of a decidedly austere beauty. Their music has tinges of early medieval ritualistic song and of classical repertoire from the Middle East. Its calm pace turns its gaze inward, hovering over a dusky stillness, over[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 128

Dario Calderone. James Tenney Bass Works. In 1983, composer James Tenney posed the question: Why is a compound tone consisting of many harmonic partials perceived as a single tone? He apparently didn’t find a satisfactory answer, and surmised that the solution must reside in the listeners themselves. That is where the music is[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 128

Bob Gilmore. Claude Vivier: A Composer’s Life. Both the music and the life of Canadian composer Claude Vivier, who was murdered in Paris in 1983, are fraught with mystery.   Mystery surrounds his birth and death. He never knew his biological parents, and was raised in a foster family. After his violent death, a score was[...] Read more

Books René van Peer Issue 120

Harry Partch’s Delusion of the Fury. A resonant boom rippling through your body—that is the impact of the Marimba Eroica, arguably the lowest-pitched percussion instrument in existence. Four thick slabs of wood up to eight feet long—each placed over a sizable resonator—make you feel rather than hear its[...] Read more

Concerts and Events René van Peer Issue 118

Bart Plantenga. Yodel in Hi-Fi, From Kitsch Folk to Contemporary Electronica. Yodelling is one of those “always wanted to know but were afraid to ask” topics. While deejaying at the independent New Jersey radio station WFMU, music writer Bart Plantenga stumbled upon a staggering variety of people engaging in yodelling. He discovered that the technique had[...] Read more

Books René van Peer Issue 117

Maciunas Ensemble. The Archives Part 1, 1968–1980. The term process music usually designates compositions that develop along predetermined parameters. It may be attached to pieces built on algorithms or to certain minimalist works, such as those composed by Tom Johnson. You don’t very often find it associated with improvisation, or[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 115

Pierre Bastien. Entomology, Dyane Donck–Daisy Bell, Proverbs of Hell. Machinefabriek, 15/15. Worm Records has released three limited-edition, twelve-inch vinyl albums of their Soundpiece Project. In 2011 Lukas Simonis, music curator of the Dutch alternative art space Worm invited three composers—Rutger Zuyderveld, a.k.a. Machinefabriek, Dyane Donck, and Pierre Bastien—to[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 115

ReR Megacorp. If there were ever an ironic name for a record label, it is ReR Megacorp. The label originally consisted of two separate operations: Re Records and Recommended records. These labels were set up in 1978 by the English avant-rock group Art Bears (formerly Henry Cow) and drummer Chris Cutler,[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 114

Tin Hat. The Rain Is a Handsome Animal. The Rain Is a Handsome Animal is the first Tin Hat album to feature founding member and violinist Carla Kihlstedt as a singer. The seventeen tracks on this CD are settings of poems by E. E. Cummings. Although all four members have contributed compositions to this collection, the music carries[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 114

Pauline Oliveros’ Eightieth Birthday Releases Pauline Oliveros. Reverberations: Tape & Electronic Music 1961–1970. Important Records IMPREC352. Pauline Oliveros. Primordial / Lift.Taiga Records 22. Deep Listening Band. Octagonal Polyphony. Important Records IMPREC358. Deep Listening Band. Great Howl at Town[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 114

Linda Jansma and Carsten Seiffarth, eds. Gordon Monahan: Seeing Sound: Sound Art, Performance and Music, 1978–2011. If there is one life-changing moment in the career of the Canadian composer, performer, and sound artist Gordon Monahan, it may well have been his encounter—and eventual partnership—with Laura Kikauka. Leafing through the monograph Seeing Sound, which spans over thirty years of[...] Read more

Books René van Peer Issue 113

Francisco López. Untitled #275. Composer and sound recordist Francisco López operates in an area where music and sound merge. On earlier albums he processed recordings from nature and buildings to arrive at this curious intermediate zone. Although the sources of the sounds are readily recognizable, the overall[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 113