Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Richard Grayson & Tom Oberheim - Live Electronic Music (Orion, 1974)

Live Electronic Music showcases live performances of improvised classical music combined with electronic composition. Richard Grayson had been performing programs of this nature for five years prior to releasing this album. Tom Oberheim is credited simply as engineer, but both artists are responsible for the electronic aspects of the compositions. Oberheim is a famed audio engineer probably best known as the founder of Oberheim Electronics. Richard Grayson has led a studious and prestigious career as a musician, gaining respect for his "[devotion] to ...the long-lost art of classical improvisation." Though the influence is clear, not all the songs on this album are classically based. The first track starts with a toccatta theme, but the piano quickly gets lost in the processor's territory. The second to last song is an epic, thirteen minute piece styled after Terry Riley's "A Rainbow In Curved Air" and is performed exclusively on synthesizers. The other three songs bear the classical influence, with an hommage to J.S. Bach, another to Erik Satie, and lastly a piece that expresses techniques in modern composition. Enjoy.

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