Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Charlemagne Palestine - Strumming Music (1974)

Chaim Moshe Tzadik Palestine, better known as Charlemagne, and also known for performing lengthy, minimal keyboard works surrounded by stuffed animals, is a relatively new discovery for me.  Active since the 60s, most of his recordings have only been released in the past couple of decades.

This album was one that did see limited release soon after its conception, on the French label Shandar who were also responsible for some of Philip Glass' early exposure.  When it comes to Strumming Music, any Glass comparisons (or indeed Steve Reich comparisons) are only helpful on the surface - this might be a fifty-minute minimalist piano work, but by focusing on texture rather than strict notation it's arguably more affecting and engrossing over the course of its extended length.  Starting from just a couple of notes, and building up into only slightly more complex clusters, Strumming Music is all about the gorgeous grand piano sound ringing out in bell-like tones, or sometimes like the strumming sounds that gave it its title, with the piano's sustain pedal hammered down throughout.

Strumming Music


  1. The evolution of electronic personal music media extends back to the development of the phonograph in

    the mid 1800's and is still metamorphosing into the 21st century. I would like to give a little history

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  2. This is the business! I have been zoning out to this classic for years. Thanks for posting it and hopefully turning others on to the drone master.