As the Economy Contracts, PostClassic Radio Expands

There’s a lot of new interest in the songwriter/cellist/composer Arthur Russell, who died of AIDS in 1992, because of his work in dance electronica. I don’t know how far the interest extends to his early minimalist music, but I ran across my old Arthur Russell vinyl discs yesterday, and it occurred to me that I’ve never played his music on PostClassic Radio. So I’ve put two records up, Instrumentals 1974 Vol. 2, and Tower of Meaning (1981). Some of the Instrumentals have a nice beat to them, but Tower of Meaning (conducted by Julius Eastman, no less) is pretty austere, just chords in rhythm. But attractive, if you’re into the same kind of no-frills listening I am. The production values are pretty sketchy, some tracks simply cut off in mid-phrase. Imagine a big “[sic]” every time that happens, because that’s what was on the record. Part of being an expert is just having lived long enough to own the records everyone’s forgotten about. I’m sure I had these because Yale Evelev at good old New Music Distribution Service thought I should have them and sent them.

I’ve also put up some Jacob Ter Veldhuis including his Paradiso Oratorio, Renske Vrolijk’s hot-off-the-press Sound of Wax based on sampled wax cylinders, Morton Feldman’s For Christian Wolff in its three-hour entirety, and some orchestra pieces by Christian Wolff and Petr Kotik. I notice, however, that the average listening time per log-in has been only 15 minutes lately; this simply won’t do with the new format. In case you’re really dying to hear the Arthur Russell and could stand to know where it comes in the playlist, I’m going to try a new way of posting the playlist, as jpegs here. Below is the current 31-hour+ playlist, as of this morning. You’ll notice I have to play tricks on the software to assign three tracks from one CD without triggering Live365’s anti-classical copyright rules, which is why Morton Feldman gets renamed “Uncle Morty” – a name everyone would recognize him by anyway:


  1. says

    Tim Lawrence has a book on Arthur coming out in the near future – not sure if he emphasizes one part of Arthur’s career over another, though. I’ll be curious to read it when it comes out.

  2. Owen Gardner says

    I see Arthur Russell’s music as having a remarkable continuity across genre lines. I suspect the only reason anyone privileges his song-oriented work over the more properly minimalist work (aside from availability) is that his voice and lyrics are so beautiful.

  3. says

    Hey Kyle, thanks for putting “Law of Octaves” on the playlist! So nice to be played in such distinguished company.
    KG replies: Hey, we got nothin’ *but* stars here at PostClassic Radio.

  4. Paul H. Muller says

    Listened for a few hours today.
    Really enjoyed the John Luther Adams pieces.
    Good mix. Thanks for making this music available.