Sunday, March 25

a pitch lattice of perfect fifths and harmonic sevenths: la monte young's the well tuned piano

Considered by the composer to be his most important work, The Well Tuned Piano is a somewhat lengthy improvisational piece - 5 or 6 hours is typical - based around a specific tuning on a Bosendorfer grand piano, first composed in 1964 and revisited frequently since then. Tonight on Avant Gardening... we'll play the 1987 released Gramavision version, recorded n New York May 10 1981 between the hours of 6:17 and 11:18 pm.

"La Monte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano is an enthralling marathon a non-stop performance at once wacko and visionary" - Newsweek, 1987

"The Well-Tuned Piano is a work of tremendous vision; those who are willing to give it the time and effort it takes will find it one of the great monuments of modern culture." - Mark Swed, L.A. Herald Examiner, 1987

"La Monte Young began work on his magnum opus, The Well-Tuned Piano, in 1964. For 27 years he kept the tuning a secret - only a few close friends knew it. In 1991, with the use of a calculator, a tunable Yamaha DX7, and a CD player with an A-to-B button, I tuned my synthesizer to the Gramavision recording of the work and figured out ten pitches of the tuning. Why not all 12? Because one pitch, G#, never appears on that recording of the work, and another, C#, only appears in one five-minute passage on the fifth CD. I told La Monte that I had figured out the tuning and wanted to publish an analysis of the work. He thought it over and agreed that it was time to release the tuning into public discourse." Kyle Gann, 1997



1. 'The Well Tuned Piano' by La Monte Young from The Well-Tuned Piano 81 X 25 6:17:50 - 11:18:59 PM NYC rec 1981 released 1987

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