Signal to Noise has featured a lot of guest mixes over the years. This, I think, might be the first time two people have contributed. Those two people are John Bennett and John Laidler. As you’d expect, their mix is a bit spoken word, a bit classical, a bit jazzy but totally engrossing. This is music for staring into the void.
5 Morgan Country, Ross Bolleter [i]
6 Scelsi, John Bennett and John Laidler [ii]
7 The Kind Of Poetry I Want, Hugh MacDiarmid
8 Way 6 (Ted Hughes Crow), John Bennett and John Laidler [iii]
9 And The Earth Shall Bear Again, John Cage (Philipp Vandre: prepared piano)
10 July 5, John Bennett and John Laidler [iv]
11 Letter to the Person Who Carved His Initials Into the Oldest Living Longleaf Pine in North America, Matthew Olzmann
12 Fairy Tale, John Bennett and John Laidler (Chernobyl).
Scelsi is found in the album Nine Found Poems in the Shape of a Piano which tests an omnivorous set of pianists and composers for the piano, from fakes to mystics with biographies, extraordinary environments, fables and reconstituted sounds. Here you will find sad stories of Ravel’s brain, the concentration camp Terezin, two mad pianists, a very eccentric pianist, Glenn Gould, and a very eccentric composer for the piano, Eric Satie.
[i] The Australian composer finds and plays ruined pianos. We have created a piece ‘Bolleter’ that circles around him in (which also includes Scelsi below) in the album Nine Found Poems in the Shape of a Piano, Available here. 1. Ravel 05:53; 2.Scelsi 06:11; 3.Anon 03:11; 4.Satie 10:24; 5. Gould 07:09; 6. Cage 06:04; 7. (Piano) Tuner 02:23; 8. Terezin 10:27; 9. Bolleter;
[ii] How the minimalist Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi (d. 1988) found himself and a new sound for music through the piano.
[iv] From a visual and textual journal kept during the COVID crisis. VIRUS 2020 attempts to throw light on the beauty of the world, on the benefits of paying attention to our environment for our overall health, while taking note of all the bad news, the momentum towards biodiversity and abundance loss.