John Wall - Fear Of Gravity

From Allmusic.com : "British sampling composer John Wall's work creates new compositions from fragments of CD and LP recordings. Interests in classical composition, computer music, and free improvisation are all apparent in the work of this north London composer, who became active in avant-garde music circles in the early '80s. His working process is to reconfigure some of the more abrasive shards of modern classical music. He splices them hard up against an explosive soundbite from metalers Carcass or free-improv from the Derek Bailey school of thought, often parallel mixing these sample arrangements against improvisations record from instrumentalists in his studio. While this method may sound akin to John Zorn's Naked City, though it is less a random post-modern mis-match experiment and his work has the feel of refined compositions. Certainly, one would have to know the recordings of his sampling subjects intimately to spot weather it was Xenakis, Scelsi, Luigi Nono, or John Cage.

This stream of avant-garde classical music is a recurring resource in Wall's work and through the albums on his own Utterpsalm label, the composer distilled the same process on a triptych of CDs. The two-year intervals which separate there releases in the '90s is telling of the fact that the composer spent years assembling these detailed texture-poems. This is also accredited to the fact that John Wall was using computer assembling quite early on in the '90s, when the technology was less efficient than in the following ten years. Hence, by the time the Constructions CD appeared in 1999, it was striking the degree to which the new technology had enabled his aesthetic to fully bloom. The work was less a sample-based re-construction as an autonomous composition in its own right. Thus, his work moved away from the "plunderphonics" tag often thrown at it and proved that the composer has the right to the work of others: the exquisite corpse of 20th century music.

At times his music is alarming, recordings explore radical dynamic shifts between the very subdued/barely audible, to extremely loud/dense. While constantly questioning and re-configuring compositional norms, his work is also addressing and examining the concept of ownership through its rigorous sampling and re-phrasing. If not simply making beautiful, developed electro-acoustic records, John Wall is proving the argument that material is only as worthy as the hand that shapes it. That said, a John Wall re-construction could be the highest compliment a composer could receive."

"Fear Of Gravity" was released by UtterPsalm in 1993.

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