Pulse Music album cover
Pulse Music

John McGuire

Unseen Worlds

McGuire is a composer originally form California, and who traveled to Köln in the mid-Seventies to study and record. He ended up at the legendary WDR studios, home of Stockhausen, and created a music that split the difference between serialism and minimalism. This is music that would be an hour’s work on a laptop now, but at the time, programming this kind of rapid step music was the height of technical advancement. Three of these pieces are bright, cheerful music, machine fluctuation at its least difficult, not at all like Schoenberg. The piece scored for pianos and orchestra (and McGuire on organ) is a marvel, with all of the rapid figures slowed down and smoothed into a vibrant, glowing cloud of note values, neither minimalism nor improv.

Sasha Frere-Jones

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