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Discominimalism

Posted by Joshua Glenn  October 1, 2012 02:11 PM

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This BRAINIAC entry is cross-posted from my blog HiLobrow.

cerrone.jpg

Rocker and music critic/theorist Franklin Bruno recently came up with the following high-lowbrow "DIY discominimal mashup" experience. He played a pioneering minimalist composition from the 1960s at the same time as an influential 1970s Eurodisco hit...

Here is a slightly expurgated version of Bruno's instructions; they first appeared at HiLobrow.com yesterday.

STEP 1: Start the two songs below. They'll go in and out of phase w/ each other, so it doesn't matter which you start first or if there's a gap of a few seconds.

STEP 2: Adjust relative volumes to taste.

STEP 3: Trip out for about 8 mins or as long as you can stand it.

"IN C"

Above: the semi-aleatory "In C" (1964), by Terry Riley — often cited as the first minimalist composition. It consists of 53 short, numbered musical phrases, lasting from half a beat to 32 beats; each phrase may be repeated an arbitrary number of times.

"LOVE IN C MINOR"

Above: "Love in C Minor," the influential 1975–76 debut song by French disco drummer and singer-songwriter Marc Cerrone — in collaboration with Alec R. Costandinos.

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Note that the mashup app YouTube Doubler makes doing this sort of thing easy. Here's a link.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.

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