Tuesday, August 4, 2020
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Artist: Charlemagne Palestine
Title: Music for Big Ears
Format: CD
Label: Staalplaat (@)
Distributor: Staalplaat (NL), Soleilmoon (US), Demos (It), These Records (UK), Target (De) and more...
If lately you thought you were hearing bells beyond the plain figure of speech, and it wasn't a Sunday, and you didn't happen to be walking next to a farm with Swiss cows, maybe you were just passing by some experimental music shop playing Charlemagne Palestine's record "Music for Big Ears". He's been hitting them bells since he was 15 (originally at the church tower next to NYC's MOMA - Museum of Modern Art) and now he's been commissioned a carillion music project for a church in Berlin... As much as I am an atheist I would go to church for this one (and I would damn well make sure to pack my earplugs, 'cause my ears ain't as big as the teddy bears' ears on the front cover of this weird CD). If you thought the sounds of bells would always be calm and lovely, try this out... Four fists and four legs (him and Berlin's carilloner Jeffrey Bossinb) physically BANGING on the big wooden organ-looking keyboard to trigger the hammers in the bells and using clang oscillators. And if you thought that I shouldn't have capitalized the word banging, listen to track no. 3 where you can hear the noise/sound that the two happy men make with the clavier that one hears when playing. It must be a mind-altering, devastating, exhausting experience to do that for an hour!!! In search of new sonics... Sonority versus energy... go tell that the Berliner community!!! They must have thought there was a war going on... I wonder how many run away scared ;-)... Don't get me wrong, it ain't noise and it ain't bad either, but it is LOUD and pretty much constant, and even increasing... No time for pauses, no rest for silence... I had to play this low cause I couldn't deal with the idea of even imagining to be anywhere near that big instrument or even that tower!
The record has been preformed on the Daimler-Benz Carillon, cut in Berlin on a digital 8 track machine with 8 mics and mixed with Radboud Mens in Amsterdam.

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