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Album Review: Kyle Gann | Hyperchromatica

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Kyle Gann | Hyperchromatica

(Other Minds)

Otherminds.org

By way of explaining why he has spent much of his career championing the work of little-known composers not named Kyle Gann, composer/critic Kyle Gann wrote, "You can't be a visible composer in an invisible scene, and no one else was writing well about the scene I came from." That scene is experimental serious music, microtonal music in particular. In his stunning new two-CD sequence Hyperchromatica, the Bard professor extends the work of the ascendant American outsider composer Conlon Nancarrow, who found his ideal performer in the player piano. Gann composed Hyperchromatica for three computer-tuned Disklavier pianos strung together to become a single 243-key programmable microtonal instrument. "Hyperchromatica I: Andromeda Memories" begins with a chord euphonious enough to belong in a Satie Gymnopédie, but within seconds, departs the world of equal temperament for alien cascades and glissandos that will, if you let them, change everything. Be not afraid. Many pieces here, like "VII: Dark Forces Signify," are lucid, approachable, and slippery in the most delightful way.

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