A few days ago the music theorist Kevin Holm-Hudson shared a Soundcloud file to my Facebook timeline. Almost the same time the artist John Emr posted the same link to Hey Exit’s file. And it’s a good one. Hey Exit has time-stretched every recording of Erik Satie’s famous first Gymnopedie in its original piano version (so no Three Dog Night) to the length of the longest version.

Sounds a bit gimmicky? Well, there is a good precedent in British experimental music for the presentation of simultaneous versions of a particular piece (Christopher Hobbs’ McCrimmon Will Never Return, having four variant versions of the original piobaireachd lament played together). Also—and I don’t know if I’m reaching a bit here—the combination of the reverb on this recording and the arpeggiated attacks, due to variants in expression, create a sound that reminds me of Southern Californian ‘pretty music’: to an extent, Harold Budd’s ‘soft pedal’ style, but also the 1970s ABC recording of Daniel Lentz’s Song(s) of the Sirens. A gorgeous experiment; thanks so much for sharing, Kevin and John; thanks for making, Hey Exit!

Author: Virginia

Virginia Anderson is a writer who messes with the EMC Blog. She specialises in the study of experimental, minimalist, and free improvisatory music. She also plays clarinet, and has recorded on Zanja, Advance, and Rastascan Recordings, specialising in new works for Eb clarinet and free improvisation.

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