Noah Creshevsky - Weird Music For Connaisseurs . . .

edited October 2012 in whirling dervish
This is music beyond comparison, artist and genre wise, except perhaps Vincent Bergeron (aka Berger Rond) and the vocal equilibrist David Moss:

"Imagine all the world's instruments, musicians and hemispheres lashed together into a giant mega-calliope, super-jukebox, or fantasmo-sampler. As called to action by a hyper-caffeinated virtuoso, it might sound something like these works by Noah Creshevsky."
--Arved Ashby, Gramophone.

Noah Creshevsky

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Born January 31, 1945 Rochester, New York

- Trained in composition by Nadia Boulanger in Paris and Luciano Berio at Juilliard, Noah Creshevsky is the former director of the Center for Computer Music and Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. His musical vocabulary consists largely of familiar bits of words, songs, and instrumental music which are edited but rarely subjected to electronic processing. The result is a music that obscures the boundaries of real and imaginary ensembles though the fusion of opposites: music and noise, comprehensible and incomprehensible vocal sources, human and superhuman vocal and instrumental capacities. Creshevsky's work has been supported by grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and ASCAP. It has been published by Alexander Broude and the University of Michigan Press, released on records and compact discs, and performed and broadcast internationally. Formerly director of the Center for Computer Music and professor of music at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, he has served on the faculties of the Juilliard School and Hunter College, and been a visiting professor at Princeton University.

- "I have been composing electronic music for more than thirty years. Common to all of my music is the use of expanded sonic palettes. My goal has been to create a body of work using a novel but natural, versatile, and expressive musical language. My focus on extended musical palettes mirrors the belief that individuals and societies are improved through broad inclusion. Much of my musical vocabulary consists of familiar bits of words, songs, and instrumental music which are deconstructed into minute fragments, subjected to a variety of electronic processes, and finally reassembled in ways that bear little or no discernible relationship to their original sources. The result is a sound at once nearly human and tangentially electronic, but never fully one or the other. Allusions to Middle Eastern, Asian, and Western sacred, secular, popular, and classical instrumental and vocal music seek to produce hypothetical performers of indeterminate identity--simultaneously male and female, Western and non-Western, ancient and modern, familiar and unfamiliar."
--Noah Creshevsky
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- To be continued . . .

Comments

  • edited August 2016
    Continuing with his latest album, released 1n 2012 and added to my "2012 best of" list:

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    - Some words:

    - "Active in electronic composition since 1971, Noah Creshevsky delights in presenting extreme and unpredictable juxtapositions in which the integration of electronic and acoustic sources and processes creates virtual "superperformers" by using the sounds of traditional instruments pushed past human capacities. Creshevsky uses the term Hyperrealism to describe his electroacoustic language constructed from found sounds, handled in ways that are exaggerated or intense.

    Creshevsky's first full length CD on Pogus (and hopefully not his last) works his sampling wizardry on performances by Sherman Friedland (clarinet); Lisa Barnard Kelley and Tomomi Adachi (voices); piano improvisations by Stuart Isacoff; Gary Heidt (voice and guitar); Rich Gross (lap steel/banjo); Orin Buck (bass); Juho Laitinen (cello).

    As always his music needs to be heard to be believed. A truly singular voice."

    - Pogus Productions 2012

    - " …Creshevsky's music is cosmopolitan and streetwise post modern expression…I do not exaggerate when I say that I have never heard anything like Creshevsky's music before…If you're up for an aural adventure, here's your ticket."
    -Josh Mailman, American Record Guide
    - "Playful, zig zagging cut-ups from this former director of the Center for Computer Music at Brooklyn College. Creshevsky writes pieces that stay within 20th century avant-classical performance style, but would be physically impossible to perform (putting piano notes too far away from each other, asking singers not to breathe, etc). He uses splicing & overdubbing techniques to paste them into existence, resulting in something like a film edit of a chamber piece."
    - Weirdo Records
    - "Noah Creshevsky is a man who cares about a correct interpretation, as one can tell even by noticing the refreshing precision of his writing; from the same communicative cloth comes the meticulousness that he applies to the process of creating music. Rounded With A Sleep – first solitary release for Al Margolis’ imprint – transmits a deep sense of attainment through a sequence of refined compositional frameworks. However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to appreciate the fruits of Creshevsky’s juxtapositions; the most notable quality is a rare ability in turning complexity into glowing crystals of comprehensibility. The package of Hyperrealism – this is how the “genre” is called – incorporates hours, weeks and months of painstaking studio work. Still, our ears perceive an immediate luminousness, a mélange of clever temperament and soulful composure indicating the transition from mere divertissement to fine art.

    As always, the starting points are samples of human and instrumental origin. From thousands of snippets, either utilized in their natural range or transposed, Creshevsky constructs pieces that clearly show his classical training as an essential background. In this composite world, where we can barely guess if an harpsichord is really an harpsichord (it might be an altered guitar, but it’s not a problem), sonic instances from diverse eras fuse like in a miracle, and the hyper-poly-a-tonality of several of those designs causes an attentive listener to vacillate across various stages of relative insecurity. We’re prevented from lying down and get comfortable, but – quite preposterously – receive positive stimuli exactly for that reason. There’s no time to ask “what was that?”, yet an omni-comprehensive vision of a whole is achieved at the end of each track. You just need to play the record again to better fix certain spots and glimpses of (presumed) knowledge of the raw material.

    Speaking of which, a definite highlight is represented by Tomomi Adachi’s implausibly amusing phonemes: a collage of babbled syllables, strained air intakes and Japanese accents amidst aleatory vibraphone zigzags making “Tomomi Adachi Redux II” a cardinal improver of any intelligent iPod list. Incidentally, I wonder how a collaboration between Creshevsky and scat-machine extraordinaire Lorin Benedict would turn out. Other salient moments are to be found in the magnificent “The Kindness Of Strangers” – a tapestry of modified voice, guitar, bass, lap-steel and banjo that makes those narrow-ranged instruments depict atmospheres of boundlessness – and the conclusive “In Memoriam”, Juho Laitinen’s cello as the basis of a complex type of solemnity replete with glorious resonant shades.

    Singling out parts is not an effective option when examining such a kaleidoscopic statement. Go with the flow, letting this combination of unlikely junctures and multifarious timbres inspire your sensation of being, including aspects we’re not ready to immediately grasp."

    - Touching Extremes
  • edited August 2014
    - Time for the next chapter in "Weird Music For Connaisseurs" . . .

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    - "A split cd of works by Noah Creshevsky (4 tracks) and If, Bwana (3 tracks). While on the face of it this may seem a somewhat odd pairing, the pieces recorded here comment on and highlight each other . . ."

    - Hyperrealism is an electroacoustic musical language constructed from sounds that are recognizable parts of our shared environment ("realism"), handled in ways that are exaggerated or excessive ("hyper"). Hyperrealist music exists in two basic genres. The first uses the sounds of traditional instruments that are pushed beyond the capacities of human performers in order to create superperformers--hypothetical virtuosos who transcend the limitations of individual performance capabilities (e.g., Mari Kimura Redux, Intrada, Favorite Encores). Hyperrealism of the second genre aims to integrate vast and diverse sonic elements to produce an expressive and versatile musical language. Its vocabulary is an inclusive, limitless sonic compendium, free of ethnic and national particularity (e.g., Shadow of a Doubt). Hyperrealism celebrates bounty, either by the extravagant treatment of limited sound palettes or by the assembling and manipulating of substantially extended palettes.

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    Al Margolis has been working under the musical pseudonym If, Bwana since New Year's Day 1984. There are often collaborators in this project‹both knowingly and unknowingly. Both are represented on this recording. Xyloxings was a concept-based work that in the end had the concept discarded for compositional considerations. Lisa Barnard's vocals were recorded with her direct knowledge. Scraping Scrafide uses a portion of Tony Scafide's piano part from a prior work of mine‹3 Out of 4 Ain't Bad‹and processes it. Cicada #4: Barnard Mix is part of my "discipline" series‹an open set of works‹and uses Barnard's vocals from other sessions to create one of many possible versions of this work."

    - Pogus Productions 2008
    Cicada #4: Version Barnard @ Soundcloud
  • A new rerelease (from 2006) on EM Records:
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    - "Reissue of 8 pieces from 1971 to 1992, mainly tape collage, using instrumental (incl. disco dance music or rock music), vocal, and concrete sounds. "In Other Words" features the voice of John Cage. Noah is a Julliard-educated composer with a sense of humor and fine taste in vests."
    - "A student of Berio and Boulanger; a former director of the Centre for computer music, and the inventor of musical hyperrealism, Creshevsky unusually works only with found sounds, seldom processing or treating them - his pieces are less like tape music as we know it than scratch and sample, or sound collages. The sounds (musical - orchestras, instruments - voices and environmental sounds) essentially come as they are and are then chopped up, layered, juxtaposed and mixed into complex, laminates - some satisfyingly hectic (Drummer), some political (Strategic Defence Initiative), some funny/absurd (Great Performances) and some eerily uneasy (In Other Words - spoken by John Cage). Creshevsky avoids all genre classifications, working as close to post-rock as he does to contemporary music. Covering 21 years, these pieces are all very different and all very listenable - entertaining even: eccentric but absolutely coherent. The latest has strong echoes of some of Zappa's later Synclavier pieces. A maverick Creshevky's work is a catalogue of plunderphonic techniques and non-art applications. Very interesting work."
    ReR Megacorp
    Noah Creshevsky - Strategic Defence Initiative @ Youtube
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