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La Monte Young

On La Monte Young...

"Disdainful of worldly realities, he once subscribed to a twenty-seven-hour day around the clock - eight for work, eight for play, eleven for sleeping - a regime that meshed with the rest of the world only a fraction of the time. He insists that other people who perform his work must pay in inverse proportion to a piece's length - three hundred dollars for seven minutes, twenty-five dollars for twenty-four hours."

Known as a father of minimalism, his legacy lies in the influence he's had on the concepts of spatiality, tonality, drone, duration, amplification, theater, singularity, repetition, psychology, and dream. He's also dealt heavily in different tuning systems, such as just intonation. You can see his influence in musicans like the krautrockers Faust, the ritual theater doom of SUNN O))), Lou Reed, Tony Conrad, William Basinski, and the stoner metal masterpiece by Sleep, "Dopesmoker."

works in particular:
Compositions 1960
The Theater of Eternal Music
Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys
Dream House
The Well-Tuned Piano

A few quotes:
"The first sustained single note at a constant pitch, without a beginning or end, that I heard as a child that did not have a beginning or ending was the sound of telephone poles - the hum of the wires."

"Once I tried lots of mustard on a raw turnip. I liked it better than any Beethoven I had even heard."

Regarding his performance of Toshi Ichiyanagi's "Mudai Number One," in which he timed and counted 30 cents worth of string beans:

"Was it music?"

"I think so. There was a score, and certainly it involved a duration of time, an element with which music has always been involved. Certainly, picking the pods out of the bag made a little rustle here and there. People were sitting and listening, and I was definitely performing. According to the definitions that I had exposed in my earlier 1960 pieces, I'd say it was certainly music."

"Music might be defined as anything that makes a sound, or anything one listens to."

For more information...
UbuWeb on La Monte Young
La Monte Young's Drift Study


If you're interested in looking for more of La Monte Young's music that isn't headpiercing periodic sine waves, or music by any of the other influenced/related artists and musicians I mentioned, let me know and I can help you out. It seems absolutely impossible to find anything La Monte Young has done on the internet.