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Palestine: Schlingen Blangen

Your Works Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Oct 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New World
  • ASIN: B00001YVD1
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,835 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Schlingen-Blangen - Charlemagne Palestine

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Zenith of Minimalism 19 Dec 2006
By Gord
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A man holds down a chord for 70 minutes.

Ok, he tweaks a few things every so often but that is it. Nothing else.

The piece was performed on a church organ, wedges of cardboard being inserted into the keyboard to help keep the notes held down. Various stops were manipulated during the performance.

That is Schlingen-Blangen, at face value it is possibly the most minimal of minimalist music (John Cage notwithstanding!) but it is also hugely rewarding. The massive chord played on a richly sonorous organ sets up an avalanche of timbres in which your own mind will start to create the music. At various times you will think that you're hearing other instruments, and the small physical changes that occur such as an extra note being included or another stop being pulled can be extremely satisfying. At those points during the listening when you are really concentrating, the immensity of activity can be overwhelming.

Although this music is considered to have come out of the minimalist movement of the 1960's and 70's, I like to believe that it has other origins. Firstly, the Drone in music has it's roots in many parts of the world - Indian Ragas and Scottish Bagpipe music are examples where drones form the underlying basis for the melodies, whereas Aboriginal Dreamtime performances often use the drone without any melody, allowing the timbral changes of Digeridoo to define the music. Secondly, the idea of taking out the motion of a piece so as to captivate that beautiful moment - this is akin to music being a physical entity to be experienced like a photograph, rather than the multi-dimensions of a film.

Overall, this is a beautiful work and is highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sublime 19 Mar 2001
By "undeletablearchive" - Published on
Format:Audio CD
This is a continuous 72 minute church organ piece made of a single chord activited by inserting cardboard wedges between selected keys. Stops are then progressively opened and closed to accentuate points in the harmonic structure. That's all.
Except that's NOT all, by any means. Palestine is a master in the art of listening. His music is dedicated to an intense act of concentrating on the moiré of overtones in a simple structure and manipulating this in real time. It has transcendental results. Rhythms emerge; soft, Reich-like, out of the play of different wavelengths. Shifts across different tonal metrics cause hallucinatory effects. Now, the music appears to be going backward - or, now, to have been processed through electronic effects. But it hasn't. All there is is the chord, the stops moving, and the listening.
Palestine's music tries to induce the sacred through minimum means. This makes it sound forbiddingly esoteric, but it isn't. There is an almost commercial ear for resolution. Thus, 21 minutes in, Palestine makes manifest the basstone that's been constantly implied - the one that's playing in your head; and the effect is revelatory.
Palestine is a kind of punk minimalist with no pretensions and no interest in selling records. His music, which appears to have been won at the expense of some suffering and poverty, has enormous purity and rigour. At the same time his spirituality, which totally informs his work, is completely grounded, honest, and rooted in the everyday search, found in some religions and spiritual practices (the sensible ones), for a simple, renewing, but elusive transcendental experience; the sort that brings you to a still, transformative point where peace and absolute raptness co-exist. Sure enough, when this music hits its mark (which is often) your heart beats faster, hairs stand up, things make sense - and the white rush of the new passes across you.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Minimalism 23 Feb 2001
By svf - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Are you ready for over an hour of pipe organ drone?
Lost in the increasingly watered-down world of the Glass/Reich/Adams holy trinity of minimalism is the pure, visceral, stripped-down music of Charlemagne Palestine. The few recordings of his works are almost impossible to track down. Luckily, there is this CD release from the realatively well-distributed New World label. Get it before it also ends up on the "out of print" roster.
Listening to the simple eloquence and uncanny spiritual depth of this music is a somewhat sad reminder of what minimalism really was meant to be before becoming the bloated, excessive, sentimental stuff that is is today. Palestine is a true American original whose music needs wider recognition and representation. Hear him.
5.0 out of 5 stars where we should all begin 15 Oct 2005
By scarecrow - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
this is where minimalism should have started,uncompromising and when you hear these orthodox works it makes all subsequent offerings, seem mediocre and self-serving, opportunist. You can check the various Minimalists Lists for Their Top Ten, and this piece is always in it if Not Numero Uno, Tony Conrad Terry Riley, Phil Glass as well, all Top Drawer Stuff;never argue with success but here I think you can, minimalism lives for the committment to its concept to its procedural dimensions, its working out of a place.Too bad the late Morton Feldman came to it quite late, and La Monte Young went into Eastern affinities,and his own indulgences.Well-Tuned Piano is Top Ten Stuff, Just Intonation great piece, It was a reaction at least in the visual arts artists as Richard Serra, Carl Andre, Robert Morris, Bridget Riley, Ken Noland, Bruce Nauman and Ellsworth Kelly, some go as far as saying that it was part of the Anti-War Times, against corporatism,but I don't think so for minimalism only works with a great deal of money and support buying old Army Bases as Donald Judd's in Marfa Texas, or Dan Flavin's flourescent lighting schemes,or Serra's massive plates, hundreds of thousands of dollars in steel mill productions; Art is Money. Here it is a wonder to hear this one organ chord transformations of organ registers, it makes you beleive again in art, what it was and may have become. You look at timbre as under a microscope, as we all think we do with other works. This one forces the issue a bit more.Charlemagne Palestine (Charles Martin), while he lived in Los Angeles area he had done a series of concerts in The Unitarian Church in Downtown LA, and this piece was part of those events. He has played this all over the globe, and it still holds a fascination as one of the primary works of American minimalism.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime 30 Nov 2004
By Joshua Sellers - Published on
Format:Audio CD
This piece is about as minimalist as one can get: A single chord on a pipe organ sustained over 70 minutes. But a lot happens in those 70 minutes as Palestine slowly alters the stops-- certain frequencies are highlighted, the "beats" generated by the chord create rhythms & melodies. It's a study in tonal color & it is absolutely sublime - like placing a microscope up to a sound. Imagine one of Rothko's huge color field paintings... except it's 10 MILES HIGH!! It's especially emotionally overwhelming when listened to at a loud volume! I would rank this CD as one of my top 10 "desert island" picks for sure. I hope that more of Palestine's work is recorded & that it remains in print!

If you like early Steve Reich (like the tape pieces, the phase pieces or Drumming) then you will probably love this!
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No. 14 Jan 2012
By deb2006 - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I can't quite believe what I read here. I truly love Glass, Riley or Reich. But this here is nothing - it is on the same level as Cage's nothingness, except that there is one tone.
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