Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Ryan Muncy, ism
Another key innovator was La Monte Young, whose later '60s recordings of drone based pieces for soprano sax, viola etc. were not widely circulated when they were made but ultimately were very influential.
These are some of the key roots that Ryan Muncy expands upon in ism. He is not copying these early pioneers so much as he is expressing what has become part of the zeitgeist of our era. And so accordingly he plays some six works for solo sax--tenor, alto and baritone--written in the modern, sound color manner by the likes of James Tenney (1978), Eric Gee (2015), David Reminick (2011), Morgan Krauss (2014), Evan Johnson (2012), and Lee Hyla (1979).
Tenney's "Saxony" uses digital delay to built up an orchestral density of saxophone parts that owes something to the influence of La Monte Young (and you could say that of all trance-oriented minimalism) but creates in his own way a distinctive musical world that Ryan Muncy realizes superbly.
From there we have Gee's "Mouthpiece" for sax and some subtly effective percussion--and then the pieces that follow utilize solo sax alone in a program that is as fascinating and bracing as it is well played.
I find the album holds its own after many hearings. New music and avant jazz adepts will equally find this program of great interest. Bravo!