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Ken Montgomery - Birds + Machines
21055-2,  CD, $14.00
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Gen Ken Montgomery
Birds + Machines (1980-1989)

"With the enthusiasm of a born-again composer, I reviewed music I composed in the 80s, giving special attention to pieces that fused electronic sounds with everyday recorded sounds and noisy songs." - Gen Ken

I knew of Gen Ken Montgomery long before I ever met him, in fact one of the first tracks to attract me to his music is on this cd. And then I did meet him, etc etc. (Ken was a co-founder of Pogus, by the way). So it is with special delight that Pogus can release this cd of Ken's works from the 1980's.

I think that what Rene van Peer writes in his notes for this disc sums up much of Ken's work indeed:

Gen Ken Montgomery's sound worlds are full of activity. Not in the sense of sinuous melodies and chord progressions that try to set flea-hopping records. The sounds conjure up images and atmospheres of workshops where people busy themselves with assembling and repairing a variety of contraptions. Places where humans and tools intermingle, where technology (both hi and lo) appears as a trusted and respected companion. It is as much accepted as an integral part of the human sphere as a dog or a cat might be - and it sounds equally homely.

That is not to say that all sounds you'll hear in his music are commonplace, mundane. Many of them are immediately recognizable. Many of them can be traced to their source, even through dense veils of modification. Some derive clearly from instruments, some from birds. But many are absolutely singular, there's no telling what produced them. And to tell you the truth (my truth): it doesn't really matter. Regardless what sounds or sources form the components of this music (everyday or extraordinary objects; musical instruments or electronic tools; his own voice or environmental recordings), what is important is the mind that processes them and welds them together into the independent entities that we call songs.

It is evidently an open mind that enjoys toying with sounds. His music sounds as if he works with what he finds. Obviously he has prepared materials to be used. But the way he puts everything together makes the impression of someone following his judgment of the situation on the spot. These are not guided tours, mapped out beforehand. These songs are explorations. Trips into an unknown. They aren't, however, excursions done in seclusion. Everywhere he goes Ken Montgomery creates a buzz. He creates a sphere of sound around him that feels humane, sociable. A warm cloud of sonic strangeness. But a loud cloud, too, mind you.

Review Reviews

Cat.# :: Composer(s)
21078
::
Triple Point
21077
::
Robin Hayward
21076
::
Ron Nagorcka
21075
::
Secluded Bronte
21074
::
David Rosenboom
21073
::
Peter Batchelor
21072::Alvin Lucier
21071::Lou Cohen
21070::Brian Chase
21069::Jerry Hunt
21068::If, Bwana
21067 :: Jorge Antunes
21066::Enzo Minarelli
21065::Tensions At The Vanguard
21064 :: Frances White
21063 :: Noah Creshevsky
21062 :: If,Bwana/Trio Scordatura
21061 :: Nate Wooley
21060 :: Leo Kupper
21059 :: Pauline Oliveros/ Francisco López/Doug Van Nort/Jonas Braasch
21058 :: Philip Corner
21057 :: Alvin Lucier
21056 :: Dimitri Voudouris
21055 :: Birds + Machines
21054 :: Kiva
21053 :: César Bolaños
21052 :: Lionel Marchetti & Olivier Capparos
21051 :: Tom Hamilton/
Bruce Eisenbeil
21050 :: Source Records 1-6
21049 :: Noah Creshevsky/ If,Bwana
21048 :: Simon Wickham-Smith
21047 :: Kenneth Gaburo
21046 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21045 :: Annea Lockwood
21044 :: Felix Werder
21043 :: Dimitri Voudouris
21042 :: Nick Didkovsky
21041 :: Montreal Sound Matter
21040 :: Anla Courtis
21039 :: Crawling with Tarts
21038 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21037 :: Hans Otte
21036 :: DIY Canons
21035 :: Band/Myers
21034 :: Chris Brown
21033 :: Tom Johnson
21032 :: Roger Reynolds
21031 :: Trios - Collaboration
21030 :: Beth Anderson
21029 :: Hamilton, Silverton, Margolis
21028 :: Warren Burt
21027 :: Jorge Antunes
21026 :: David Dunn
21025 :: Roger Reynolds
21024 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21023 :: Pauline Oliveros
21022 :: David Rosenboom
21021 :: Ross Bolleter
21020 :: Kenneth Gaburo
21019 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21018 :: Leo Kupper
21017 :: Robert Rutman
21016 :: Matthew Ostrowski
21015 :: various
21014 :: Rune Linblad
21013 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21012 :: Pauline Oliveros
21011 :: Rune Linblad
21010 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21009 :: Leo Kupper
21008 :: various
21007 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21006 :: Trigger
21005 :: Big City Orchestra
IB :: If,Bwana
FPM :: Frog Peak Music
CUE :: C.U.E. Records
SOP :: Sound of Pig Cassettes
ANTS :: Ants (Italian Label)
ANIMUL :: Ned Rothenberg
HOMLER :: Anna Homler
OAKSMUS :: oaksmus (German Label)
GD STEREO :: Geoff Dugan
ANOMALOUS :: Anomalous Records
NONSEQUITUR :: Nonsequitur
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