New Music for the Hyperactive

maguireMetaConspiracy.jpgI promised you awhile back that I would let you know when M.C. Maguire’s CD Meta-Conspiracy appeared on Tzadik, and I’m a couple of weeks late. It contains his piano “concerto” Short History of Lounge and his guitar “concerto” Got That Crazy Latin/Metal Feelin’, both resplendently recorded. I put “concerto” in quotes, because these are pieces for solo instrument and envelopingly noisy electronic soundfiles. Compared to Maguire, Berg was a doodling improviser: these are stunningly complex works, built along the lines of astonishingly intricate tempo and tonal systems that govern most of the details. But they don’t sound like that, for fragments of pop song weave in and out, and rock-style guitar riffs, and computer-voice messages, and everything but samples of the kitchen sink. I described the pieces better in my original post, and, as promised, I’m deleting Short History from my web site so as not to cut into Mike’s (and Zorn’s) sales. But it’s one of the most astonishing CDs I’ve ever heard, not intended for the faint-hearted, and if you listen often and closely, you’ll hear tempo and collage effects you’ve never heard before.


  1. says

    Thanks for letting us know about the release, Kyle. Listening to Mike’s stuff down in Florida was awesome, but it is so dense and complex that I’ll have to pick up a CD to really get a better grasp of all that is going on…some of the more original music I’ve heard recently…

  2. Terri Hron says

    Finally it’s here. Awesome. I’m completely ready to sit back, relax and have my ears blown away… again. I’m with you on that one, Matt: definitely one of the memorable experiences down in Florida. It was strange to hear so many contexts and sound worlds colliding and interchanging at such lightning speed. Now we can also introduce it to other afficionados. Definitely shouldn’t drink too much coffee before consuming!
    KG replies: OK, where’s the rest of the ACA gang? Andrea? Jim?

  3. says

    hey. i got a dissertation to write, okay? okay?! just kidding… well, not about the dissertation, but about not being excited about mike’s new disc. about two days before you posted this, i put it on my amazon wish list (a.k.a. my online reminder of what i want in my life, whether i buy it on amazon or not). next paycheck… and it’s definitely going to be played for the asm folks, so mike get ready to write a flute concerto.

  4. says

    Hi, OK, I’ll bite.
    Actually I’m definitely going to get a copy so that I can play it for my students this summer at the Walden School. The only question is, do I play it for the computer music class, the composition class, or both?

    What we heard at ACA certainly is very original and engaging music. I think it does share some aspects of the Paul Dolden / John Oswald / Alex Trebek general Canuck aesthetic, but without a doubt, it is it’s own living thing, with a more genuine electicism than Dolden, more complexity than Oswald, and more erudition than Trebek.

    Damn… I should be a critic too, it’s fun.

    KG replies: Ooooooh, don’t take that first drink of intoxicating critical hubris: the road’s all downhill from there.

  5. Samuel Vriezen says

    Internet criticism works! This announcement was the first thing I read in quite a while that made me rush out and get the disc – and I wasn’t disappointed.

  6. Joelle Sandt says

    The Maguire’s CD is amazing…
    The recording is rich… it sculpts the contours of music… it is very sensual… funny… witty… There is a constant challenging dialog between music and the listener.
    “Got that Crazy…” is terribly strong. It is impressive, monumental like a cranky black diamond ….always surprising and leaving us without respite. We are gasping, always forced to discover a new breach, crossing or outlet…. It is an elevation.
    In the Short Story, we are smack in the middle of our own dramatic fight for life… perturbed, shaken, put in a whirl of violence and joy…totally reeled and dazed. But suddenly, a wit stings and we are surprised to smile, sharing the Maguirean irony… Then, strangely, we find that Short Story is intimate and even tender because of the secrets that it reveals…