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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Miniatures (edited by Morgan Fisher) CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.53 | 5 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
4 stars A unique gem of a record, that does not allow itself to be categorised easily. Morgan Fisher takes his inspiration from a short banjo solo by the legendary Pete Seeger based on Beethoven's 9th (aka Ode To Joy), and recorded almost 30 years earlier; (it's here). In the early 80's Fisher asked musicians (and others) each, to produce a piece of music or spoken word, 60 seconds or less long. The musicians ranged from Robert Wyatt to Ollie Hassell via Robert Fripp, but also included those better known for their punk output, such as members of the Damned or XTC, or avant musicians such as Lol Coxhill and Fred Frith. Fisher too, contributes his sub-minute piece and had the unenviable task of merging these disperate shorts together into an album of 4 to 6 minute tracks.

When this record was originally put together, Fisher literally had to use cut and paste methods to produce his tape masters - no digital short cuts here. However, after several plays of this album you should get a feeling of balance in each of the tracks, consisting of these shorts joined together. As a joke or perhaps as a relief from the relative complexity of the first approx 50 minutes, you are provided with a minute of silence (but isn't this copyrighted already by John Cage?). And finally every one of those 50 ODD miniatures is sampled to give yet another one minute track.

An most original idea for a record - and it is time for somebody to have another go.......... but with this suggestion: why not separately index each sub-minute piece so that the listener, by hitting the random play switch on a CD player, then can have a large number variations as they desire?

So expect almost anything musically here, but don't expect it to last for very long, while expecting to be really entertained!

Dick Heath | 4/5 |


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