Charlemagne Palestine CHARRRLLEEMMMA GGGNEELANDDDDDS SS”””””” CCCRREATTO RRSSSSSCCCARILLON NNN”””””””” DINGGGDONGGGDINGGGzzzzzzz ferrrr SSSOFTTT DIVINI TIESSSSS!!!!!!!!! with STTT THOMASSS ‘’’’”‘”DINGG GDONGGGDINGGGzzz zzzz ferrrr TONYYY’’’’’’’’

Label
Blank Forms
Released
1st December 2023

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Format Info

LP - black vinyl

DINGGGDONGGGDINGGGzzzzzzz!!!!!!! In the newest record by the iconoclastic Brooklyn-born composer Charlemagne Palestine (b. 1947), find two mesmerizing works for carillon, the keyboard-controlled bell tower derived in the 16th century. On side A, a new piece recorded at the artist’s studio in Belgium—a high-ceiling, stuffed-animal-packed paradise he calls Charleworld—among friends and “divinities,” his name for the thousands of plush toys he’s amassed since the ’60s. On the flip side, Blank Forms Editions’ very first and long out-of-print release appears on vinyl for the first time: a cathartic street recording of the minimalist composer’s 2018 musical eulogy for his late friend Tony Conrad, performed on the bells of St. Thomas Episcopal Church where the two first met. Two mesmerizing “klanggdedangggebannggg” sessions in the Quasimodo of 53rd Street’s unmistakable improvisatory style.

Perhaps more than any of his contemporaries in the bustling, cross-disciplinary downtown New York arts scene of the ’60s and ’70s, Charlemagne Palestine has embodied the notion of the artist as playful polymath, testing and transcending nearly every creative form imaginable in his more than six-decade career. Originally trained in Jewish sacred singing to be a cantor, he began his artistic life as a musician, studying piano and accordion, accompanying figures like Tiny Tim and Allen Ginsburg on percussion, using early synthesizers as an assistant to Alwin Nikolais, and eventually landing a long-running gig as the carillonneur at Midtown’s St. Thomas Episocal. This libertine spirit of experimentation soon led to adventures in other aesthetic arenas: making kinetic light sculptures with Len Lye, devising choreographed performances with Simone Forti, and producing over a dozen visceral videotapes with the Castelli Gallery. In the ’70s, he was particularly prominent on the

burgeoning loft movement, becoming well-known for his sparse, intense, and exacting long-form piano concerts, that seemed to bend the very nature of time and space. Beginning in the ’80s, he spent decades in self-imposed exile from the new music scene, absconding to a palace in Europe and privately honing his hermetic sonic and visual practice, until his resurgence among record fanatics in the mid-’90s.