As electronic composers, it is often necessary that we look back on the pioneers that made our genre possible. Without a doubt many members of the minimalist movement such as Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and others are precursors to the electronic sounds we hear today. Their experimentation made it possible for artists to bend the boundaries of acceptability in favor of artistry.
One such composer is La Monte Young, a father of minimalism who ambient legend Brian Eno once called “the daddy of us all.” Young’s works in the minimalist and avant-garde spheres of musical expression are vast, but Composition 1960 is a series of works that stand out. The most well-known ‘composition’ in the series is #7. #7, much like a lot of avant-garde music of its day gives open interpretation to the artist much like a jazz composition. In #7 the only restriction is that just two notes, B3 and F#4, be played within the piece.
This leads into our review, as the group Future Children has released their interpretation of this important piece. Future Children consist of Kevin Coral and CC Sheehan and seek to play #7 with their interpretation of “vintage analog and digital synths all recorded and mixed live to analog tape, in the spirit of early electronic musics.”
It absolutely works. The album showcases all of the old techniques that made early electronic musicians like Jarre and others so influential. Future Children breathes new life as well into Composition 1960 #7, as they have their own artistic voice within the well-traveled musical landscape of minimalism. The synths (Analog Roland, Arp and Moog, as well as digital EMU Emax sampler and Yamaha DX-7) are gorgeous and I have no doubt La Monte Young would be proud of his work being played in this manner.
The album Future Children Interpret: Composition 1960 #7 for Synthesizer, Sampler & Tape is being released on a limited basis for Cassette Store Day (which is today, October 8th 2016) and I highly recommend you give it a try.
Areas where you can find the cassettes are at http://cassettestoreday.us/
Future Children can be found at http://www.simulacrarecords.com/future-children/